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J) (,i> M. 


















no noi rouit la roi 





Tk4 right of tramlaliou it rmened. 






Surrender of Rhodes and Departure of the Order for Candia.—- 
Arrival at Messina. — Investigation into the Causes of the non- 
arrival of Reinforcements. — Departure for Civita Vecchia.— Inter- 
view of L'Isle Adam with the Pope. — ^Project for bestowing Malta 
on the Order. — Hopes of regaining Rhodes.— L'Isle Adam proceeds 
to Madrid. — His Negociations. — Visits Paris and London. — Returns 
to Italj. — Malta ceded to the Order. — Antecedent Historj of that 
Island. — Tripoli. — Its Disadvantages and Dangers. — Description of 
the Harbour of Malta. — Expedition to Modon. — Disputed Accession 
to the Bishopric of Malta. — English Reformation. — Insurrection in 
the Convent. — Death of L'Isle Adam - - Page 1 


Election of Peter Dupont — Expedition against Tunis. — Didier de 
St. Gilles. — John D'Omedes. — Expedition against Algiers. — ^Its 
complete Failure. — Turkish descent on Malta. — Loss of Tripoli. — 
Unjust persecution of the Marshal la Vallier. — Destruction of the 
Order in England. — Leo Strozzi. — Additions to the Fortifications 
of Malta. — Attack on Zoara. — Death of D'Omedes^ and election of 
La Sangle. — Temporary Restoration of the English Language. — 
Hurricane at Malta. — Generosity of numerous Friends to the Order. 
— Accession of La Valette. — Restoration of the Bohemian and 
Venetian Priories. — Expedition to Gralves. — ^Its disastrous Issue. — 
Siege of Mazarquiver by the Turks. — Capture of a Turkish 
Galleon, and consequent Anger of Solyman. — ^Preparations for the 
Attack of Malta - • • • . - 34^ 



The Siege of Malta. — Enumeration of the Garrison of Malta. — 
Description of its Defences. — Description of the Turkish Army 
and Fleet. — Arrival at Malta. — Disembarkation, and commencement 

of the Siege. — Arrival of Dragut The Siege and Fall of 

St Elmo ------ Pago 70 


Conclusion of the Siege of Malta - - - - 113 


Beturn of the Turkish Army to Constantinople. — Rumours of a new 
Expedition. — Death of Solyman. — Commencement of the new City 
of Valetta. — Disturbances in the Convent. — Death of La Valette. — 
Accession of Del Monte. — Transfer of the Convent to Valetta. — 
Battle of Lepanto. — Death of Del Monte. — ^Elevation of La Cassii^re. 
-—Seditions aroused against Him. — His Deposition and Restoration. 
—His Death, and the succession of Verdala. — ^Arrival of the 
Jesuits. — Death of Verdala, and brief Rule of Gurces - 148 


Political Position of the Grand-Master of the Order.— His Revenues. 
— Ceremony of Election and Installation. — Details of his House- 
hold. — Ceremonials of the Table. — ^Festivals of the Virgin Mary 
and St. John the Baptist — The Lieutenant of the Grand-Master. — 
The Navy. — The Army. — The Chancery. — The Conservatory. — 
The Revenue. — The Expenditure. — Details of the European 
Property of the Order - - - - - 187 


The Career of a Knight as a Novice, Professed Knight, Commander, 
and Bailiff.— The Auberges.— The Chaplains — The Prior of the 
Church. — The Hospital. — The General Chapter. — The Councils of 
the Order. — The Punishments of the Fraternity. — List of Pro- 
hibitions. — Criminal Records. — Local Government of the Maltese. 
— Their connection with the Order of St. John. — Slavery - 224 


The Order in England. — Its Introduction into Scotland and Ireland. — 
Division into Languages. — List of Grand-Priors of England. — 
The Turcopoliers. — The Bailiffs of Aquila. — Grand-Priors of 
Ireland. — Priors of Scotland. — Disputed precedence between the 
Grand-Priors of England and Messina.— Founders and Benefactors 


of the Order. — List of English Knights. — Present position of the 
Language ------ Page 277 


Alof de Yignaconrt. — Ecclesiastical Disputes. — The Aqueduct. — 
Anthony de Paule. — General Chapter. — ^Election of Lascaris — 
Disputes with the Spanish and French Monarchies. — Cotemporarj 
description of a Nayal Actiop. — Expulsion of the Jesuits. — Com- 
mencement of the Floriana. — Acquisitions in the West Indies.^ 
Opposition of the Grand-Inquisitor to the Election of Redin. — 
The Brothers Cottoner. — The Siege and Capture of Candia. — Dis- 
putes with the British Admiral on the subject of Salutes. — The 
constructioQ of the Cottonera and the Lazaretto. — Death of Nicholas 
Cottoner - - - - - - - 339 


Gregory Caraffa. — Adrian de Yignacourt — Raymond Perreloa. — 
Embassy from Russia. — The Chevalier de Langnon.F-*The Inquisitor 
Delci. — Improvements to the Fortifications. — Mark Anthony 
Zondodari. — Manoel de Yilhena. — Hostile Demonstration by the 
Sultan. — Erection of Fort Manoel. — Raymond Despuig. — ^Pinto 
de Fonseca. — Projected Treason amongst the Slayea. — His general 
popularity. — Condition of the Navy. — Francois Ximenes. — Priestly 
Insurrection. — Emmanuel de Rohan. — General Chapter. — ^Fearful 
Earthquake in Sicily.^Erection of Fort Tign6 - - 383 


The French Revolution. — Its Animosity to the Order. — ^Destruction of 
the French Languages.— Death of Rohan and Election of Hompesch. 
-—Creation of a Russian Priory. — Capture of Malta by Bonaparte. 
— Dispersion of the Knights.— -Election of the Emperor of Russia 
as Grand-Mtster. — Creation of a second Russian Priory. — Subse- 
quent Fortunes of the Order.-— Its present Position. — Ultimate Fate 
of the Island of Malta^— Conclusion - . . 430 


No. 16. 

Deed of Authonsation to the Procurators of L'Isle Adam, including 

the Act of Donation of the Island of Malta and its Dependencies to 

the Order of St. John by Charles. (Translated from the original 

Latin.) -.----- 4^9 



No. 17. 
Extract from the EecordB of the inaaguratioD of V&letta Page 478 

No. 18. 

Dtiedof EingFhitip and Qaeen Mary of England, restoring the Order 

of St. John in England: dated 2nd April 1557. (Translated from 

the original Latin.) ------ 478 

No. 19. 
Extracts from a Mannscript History of the FortificationB of Malla. 
dated in 1717 ; to which are annexed sundry Reports on the same 
Subject from tbe leading Engineers of the Day. (This Document, 
which is nov in the posscBsion of the Royal Engineer Department 
at that Station, is written in French, and bears the following 
Title;— Historical Memoir and general Dissertation on the For- 
tifications of Malta; showing what remains to be done in ord^r to 
place them in a state of defence : together with several Letters and 
Certificates from tbe Ministers and General Officers of the Armies 
of Frooce, which bear upon the subject.) ... - 482 

No. m 
Proclsmatioa appointing the Emperor Paul, as Crrand-Master of tbe 
Order of St John - - - - - - 498 

No. 21. 

Proclamation of the Emperor Alexander, appointing Count Soltikolf 

lieutenant of tbe Grand'Master - . - . 500 

No. 22. 

Decree of the Sacred Council of the Sovereign Order of St. John of 

Jerusalem, in accordance with the preceding Proclamation - 501 

No. 23. 

Terms of the Capitulation under which tbe French were expelled 

from MalU .---..- 503 

No. 24. 

Article in the Treaty of Amiens relative to tbe Order of St. John 50b 


V - VaJette Frontitpiec. 




• Slrtfc br tiif Turkb III l^G.'i 

iiT-KV t^ buTt^f »••■ "* •••■■■•"'••' '"'r- 

MAJ< (;A H 1 TA 
H E 1 a 11 T S 

M o r y T 

S A L r A T H 

■..^^ r 

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... . / 

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The surrender of Rhodes took place on the 20th 
December 1522; and by the terms of the capitulation, 
a period of twelve days was granted to the Knights, 
within which they were permitted to take advantage of 
its stipulations. Messengers were at once despatched 
to the castle of St. Peter and thg island of Lango, the 



only two outposts which had been maintained during 
the siege, directing their garrisons to abandon these 
strongholds, and to repair at once to the point of ren- 
dezvous in the island of Candia. 

The provisions of the treaty were not carried out by 
the Turks with that rigid exactitude which the Knights 
had a right to expect. Many foul outrages were per- 
petrated by the janissaries, after they had obtained pos- 
session of the city; churches were desecrated, women 
were violated, the inhabitants were plundered, and many 
other excesses committed by the licentious soldiery into 
whose hands they had fallen. For these acts, however, 
Solyman can in no degree be held responsible, since 
the moment the intelligence reached his ears, he sent a 
peremptory mandate to the aga of the janissaries, in- 
timating that he should pay the penalty of any further 
infractions of the treaty with his head. Solyman, 
indeed, appears throughout this transaction to have been 
actuated by a desire of obtaining a reputation for mag- 
nanimity and clemency. He was well aware that the 
fraternity of St. John contained within its ranks members 
of all the noblest families in Europe, and that every deed 
performed in connection with them, whether good or 
evil, was certain to meet with very general criticism. 

That clemency was not one of his usual attributes, 
the horrors perpetrated with his sanction at the capture 
of Belgrade fully testify. He must therefore have been 
influenced by some extraneous motive, in the line of 
conduct which he pursued towards the Knights of St. 
John after they had fallen into his power. The stub- 
bornness of their resistance during a period of six 
months, and the gigantic losses which they had succeeded 
in inflicting upon his army, must have raised within his 


heart feelings of exasperation, such as nothing but a 
deep sense of policy could have induced him to forego. 
It redounds, therefore, greatly to his credit, that he did 
not allow himself to be borne away by these feelings of 
animosity, even when the gratification of them appeared 
so perfectly within his power. 

It was only on the day following that on which the 
capitulation had been signed, that a large fleet was 
descried on the horizon, bearing down upon Rhodes. 
The idea prevalent in both armies was, that this was the 
long-expected succour arriving from the west. The 
feelings of the Grand-Master and his fraternity may be 
conceived, as they reflected that, had they maintained 
the struggle but for two days longer, they would have 
been enabled to save their beloved city. With the 
Turks, of course, the feeling was one of unmingled 
satisfaction that they had succeeded in securing their 
object before it was too late. As, however, the fleet 
drew near, and the Turkish flag became visible, these 
feelings underwent a rapid change. It was now remem- 
bered, that upon the failure of his last general assault, 
Soljrman had summoned a fresh body of troops from 
the frontiers of Persia to his assistance. This reinforce- 
ment, amounting to 15,000 men, had now arrived ; and 
it reflects the highest honour upon the Infidel sultan, 
that he took no advantage of their presence to alter the 
terms of that capitulation of which the ink was as yet 
scarce dry. It was not without some show of reason 
that he earned for himself the title of Solyman the 

A few days after, L'Isle Adam received a notification 
through Achmet Pasha that he was expected to pay his 
respects to the sultan in person. Unwilling as he was 

B 2 


to submit to this act of degradation, the Grand-Master 
felt that, at a time when he and his fraternity were so 
completely in the power of the Turk, it would be higlily 
impolitic to allow any feelings of pride on his part to 
create an irritation in the mind of the sultan. On 
Christmas-eve, therefore, he presented himself in the 
Ottoman camp, and demanded an audience of his con- 
queror, Turkish pride kept the poor old man waiting 
at the entrance of the sultan's pavilion through many 
weary hours, during that inclement winter's day ; and 
it required all the noble fortitude which graced L'Isle 
Adam's character, to bear with composure the unworthy 
slight. thus cast upon him. Towards evening, the vanity 
of Solyman having been amply gratified, he was ad- 
mitted, and the courteousness of his reception in some 
measure made atonement for the neglect with which he 
had previously been treated. An eye-witness of the 
interview states that, upon their first introduction, each 
gazed in silence upon the man who had so long been his 
opponent in the desperate strife just ended. The sultan 
was the first to speak. After ofi^ering some sentences of 
condolence for the loss which he had sustained, and 
having yielded to him the well-merited meed of praise 
which his protracted resistance demanded, Solyman 
proceeded to make the most brilliant oflfers, and to hold 
out the most dazzling inducements to L'Isle Adam to 
abandon his religion, and to take service under himself. 
Against such a profier, the mind of the Grand-Master 
i-evolted with all the horror of a Christian soldier. 
" After," replied he, *' a life spent, not ingloriously, in 
combating for his faith, and maintaining the cause of 
his religion, he could not consent to cast so foul a slur 
upon his latter days, as to abandon that religion for any 


worldly prospects whatever. Even the sultan himself 
must feel that he would be no longer worthy of that 
esteem which he had so graciously been pleased to 
express towards him, and he only craved of his mag- 
nanimity that the terms of the capitulation might be 
maintained inviolate, and that he and his followers might 
be freely permitted to seek their fortunes in a new 
home." On this head, Solyman assured him that he 
need have no uneasiness, and the Grand-Master left the 
imperial presence with every mark of respect which the 
sultan was enabled to show him. 


Two days afterwards, Solyman returned the visit at 
the Grand-Master's palace; and, on this occasion, he 
renewed the expressions of his consideration, and his 
desire to extend his clemency as far as possible to the 
fraternity, and, as the venerable L'Isle Adam left the 
imperial presence, bowed down with the sorrow so natu- 
ral upon abandoning the cherished home of his Order, 
the sultan could not forbear exclaiming to his vizier, 
" It is not without some feelings of compunction that I 
compel this venerable warrior, at his age, to seek a new 

It having become known that the sultan was about to 
quit the island, L'Isle Adam hurried his preparations 
for departure ; feeling, that after Solyman's back was 
turned, there would be but little further security for 
himself or his followers. On the night of the 1st Janu- 
ary 1523, this melancholy event took place. Four 
thousand of the Christian inhabitants of Rhodes pre- 
ferred to follow the fortunes of the Order into exile, 
rather than remain under the sway of the Turk. Amidst 
the moans and lamentations of those who were now 
About to abandon for ever the homes of their fathers, 

B 3 


and who had lost in that fatal struggle all their worldly 
possessions, save only the small remnant which they 
were enabled to bear away, the fleet sailed and made 
its course for Candia. Misfortune appeared to follow 
the wanderers on their road ; a severe hurricane over- 
took them in the course of their passage, and several of 
the smaller craft were lost. Others were saved by 
throwing overboard the little property which the un- 
fortunate refugees had been enabled to rescue from the 
general loss ; so that when the scattered fleet re-assem 
bled at Spinalonga, there were many on board reduced 
to a state of actual beggary. The governor of Candia 
welcomed the fugitives with every mark of hospitality, 
and urged upon them the advisability of wintering in 
the island ; but L'Isle Adam felt that he had much before 
him requiring immediate action and prompt decision. 
He therefore only remained in the island a sufficient 
length of time to enable him to refit and to repair, as 
far as practicable, the damages his fleet had sustained. 

Whilst waiting for this purpose, he was joined by the 
garrisons of St. Peter's and Lango ; and he also heard 
of the miserable fate of his protegee Amurath, son of 
Zizim. This young prince had been unable to elude 
the vigilance of Solyman, and to make his escape with 
his protectors. Having been discovered in a state of 
disguise, he was captured and brought before Solyman, 
when he boldly avowed himself a member of the Christian 
religion. Upon this the sultan, glad of an excuse to 
destroy him, caused him to be publicly strangled in the 
presence of the whole army. The incident of Amurath's 
fate has been but lightly touched upon by the historians 
of the siege of Rhodes, probably because it cast no little 
slur upon the otherwise fair fame of L'Isle Adam. 


Amurath had, many years before, throwa himself upon 
the protection of the Order ; he had become converted 
to the Christian faith, and had ever since lived peaceably 
beneath their banner. It was well known in Rhodes 
that his residence there was a source of constant dis- 
quietude and anxiety to the Ottoman sultan, and the 
Grand-Master could not have been ignorant of the risk 
the young prince ran, in case of his falling into that 
monarch's power. Yet we find the capitulation of 
Rhodes agreed upon, without any mention of his name. 
No precautions whatever were taken to shield the illus- 
trious convert from the vengeance of his implacable foe. 
The city was transferred to the sultan, and with it the 
unfortunate victim, who had intrusted his all to the 
protection of the Order of St. John. The result Avas 
only what might have been foreseen, and the feelings of 
L'lsie Adam, as he listened to the tale of the sacrifice 
which he himself had so weakly permitted, could have 
been of no enviable character. 

True, he had many excuses for his conduct upon the 
occasion. Not only the lives of his own fraternity, but 
those of thousands of the citizens also, hung upon the 
terms which he could obt-ain from his foe. It is possible, 
nay more than possible, although the fact has not been 
recorded, that he did endeavour to include Amurath in 
the terms of the general amnesty, and that the proposal 
was peremptorily rejected on the part of the sultan. If 
this were the case, L'Isle Adam would have had a very 
difficult point of conscience to decide. Either he must 
have sacrificed the lives of all within the city, to main- 
tain his honour inviolate towards bis guest, or, on the 
other hand, he must have sacrificed that guest, whom he 
stood pledged to protect, for the general weal. It was 


indeed a puzzling question, and, in deciding as he did, 
the Grand-Master can at least claim the excuse, that he 
acted for the best according to his judgment- 
Anxious to place himself immediately in close 
proximity to the papal chair, L'Isle Adam prepared to 
leave Candia as rapidly as .possible, and selected the 
port of Messina as the next point of rendezvous. The 
larger vessels proceeded thither direct, under the com- 
mand of an English Knight named Austin, whilst he 
himself, with the great mass of his followers, pursued 
his course more leisurely. In token of the loss which 
the Order had sustained, he no longer suffered the white- 
cross banner to be displayed at the mast-head of his 
ship, but, in its stead, a flag bearing the image of the 
Virgin Mary, with her dead son in her arms, and the 
motto " Afflictis spes mea rebus " beneath. By the 
Sicilian authorities L'Isle Adam was welcomed with the 
same hospitality as had been shown him in Candia, and 
the viceroy informed him that he was directed by the 
emperor to request him to make his home in that island 
for as long a time as he thought proper. 

L'Isle Adam's greatest fear, upon abandoning Rhodes, 
had been that his Knights, finding themselves no 
longer possessed of a convent, might disperse them- 
selves into the various European commanderies, and 
cease to maintain the position which, during their 
residence in Rhodes, they had established for them- 
selves. One of his first steps, after that event, had 
therefore been to despatch an embassy to the Pope, 
requesting such special authority from him, as might 
prevent the dispersion of his homeless Knights. Adrian, 
who was doubtless afflicted with some qualms of con- 
science, in having permitted the siege of Rhodes to be 


prosecuted with such impunity, whilst he himself had 
stood supinely looking on, hastened as far as possible to 
redeem his error; and when L'Isle Adam entered the 
port of Messina, he found awaiting him a bull, in which 
the Pope, under the severest penalties, enjoined the 
members of the Order to remain with the Grand-Master, 
wherever he might lead them. 

Having establbhed a Hospital, and taken such steps 
as were in his power to provide for the comfort of his 
followers, L'Isle Adam caused a rigid investigation to be 
instituted into the circumstances which had prevented 
the arrival of reinforcements, during the many months 
through which the siege of Rhodes had been protracted. 
He had himself, upon several occasions, despatched 
Knights from the island, to urge forward these much 
required succours, but none ever returned; and now 
that he found them all re-assembled at Messina, he called 
for a full explanation of their conduct. The cause 
alleged by the accused was the unprecedentedly tempes- 
tuous state of the weather. From numerous points 
efforts had been made to bring up the necessary 
reinforcements, but the violent and contrary winds 
which uniformly prevailed, had entirely prevented their 
departure. One English Knight, indeed, named New- 
port, had endeavoured, in spite of every obstacle, to 
force his way to Rhodes, but only fell a victim to the 
temerity of his conduct, the vessel, with all on board, 
having been lost. The explanation appeared so per- 
fectly satisfactory, that L'Isle Adam, at the head of 
his council, pronounced a full acquittal upon all the 

The plague having at this period broken out amongst 
the refugees, the authorities of Messina ordered L'Isle 


Adam to re-embark promptly, and they were, with the 
permission of the viceroy, transferred to the gulf of 
Baisa, where they remained a month. At the expira- 
tion of that period, the plague having disappeared, they 
proceeded to Civita Vecchia, where the Grand-Master 
prepared to pay a personal visit to the Pope. He was 
received at Rome with the greatest distinction, and 
Adrian pledged himself to use every possible exertion 
to obtain for the Order a new home, where they might 
establish themselves on a footing as advantageous as 
that which they had lost at Rhodes. These promises 
were, however, rendered futile by the death of the 
pontiff, which occurred shortly afterwards ; on which 
occasion the honour of guarding the conclave, assembled 
for the election of a successor, once again devolved upon 
the Order of St. John. Giulio di Medici ascended the 
papal throne, under the title of Clement VIL, and the 
brightest hopes were raised that he would prove a 
powerful support to the enfeebled fraternity, from the 
fact that he had himself been a Knight of St. John, and 
was the first of that Order who had ever attained to the 
tiara of St. Peter. These hopes were not without 
foundation. Clement had no sooner assumed the digni- 
ties of his station, than he reiterated all the promises of 
his predecessor, and pledged himself to exert his influence 
with the sovereigns of Europe to obtain a suitable retreat 
for the convent. The islands of Elba, Cerigo, and 
Candia, were severally named, but the objections to each 
appeared insurmountable, and at last Malta, with the 
adjacent island of Gozo, appeared the most likely to 
meet their views. 

A request was consequently made by the Grand- 
Master, supported by the authority of the Pope, to 


Charles V., emperor of Germany, in whose possession 
these islands then rested, as an appanage of the 
kingdom of Sicily, for their transfer to the Order of 
St. John. In reply to this application, the emperor, by 
no means unwilling to witness a new and formidable 
barrier spring up against the aggressions of the 
Turk, who, now that Rhodes had fallen, appeared to 
threaten the kingdom of SicUy, returned an answer, 
oflfering to the Order the islands of Malta and Gozo, 
Accompanied by the city of Tripoli on the adjacent 
coast of Africa, provided he was thereby assured of the 
fealty of the Order. Terms such as these it was not 
either the policy or the wish of L'Isle Adam to accept. 
One of the main principles in the foundation of the 
Order was its general European character, and em- 
bodying within its limits members of every nation in 
Europe, it was impossible that fealty could be ren- 
dered to any one sovereign without outraging the 
national feelings of the others. Still the emperor's gift 
was not to be rejected hastily, and L'Isle Adam trusted 
that, with a little patience, he might be enabled to 
soften the severity of the conditions upon which it had 
been oflfered. 

Meanwhile, a body of commissioners, eight in number, 
being one for each language, were nominated personally 
to visit and inspect the islands in question, and to 
report upon their capabilities to the general council at 
Viterbo. L'Isle Adam was the more readily induced to 
let matters take their course slowly and quietly upon 
this subject, since a prospect had suddenly reopened 
itself of his being enabled once again to regain posses- 
sion of the lost city of Rhodes. Achmet Pasha, to 
whom, as we have already seen, the command of the 


Turkish army had been entrusted, upon the degradation 
of Mustapha, had, after the conquest of Rhodes, been 
despatched into Egypt to quell an insurrection in that 
province. Having succeeded in this object, his ambition 
prompted him to renounce his allegiance to the sultan, 
and to establish himself as a sovereign prince over the 
kingdom of Egypt. As a support in this new and in- 
secure position, he sought the assistance of such Euro- 
pean states as he conceived would be ready to lend 
their aid to any movement likely to enfeeble the Ottoman 
power. To L'Isle Adam he addressed himself more 
particularly, informing him that he had it within his 
power to restore to the Order their lost stronghold 
of Rhodes. The new commander of the tower of St. 
Nicholas was a renegade Christian, a creature of his 
own, who, if an adequate force were landed upon the 
island, would at once surrender his post and join the 
invaders. L'Isle Adam was so much struck with the 
plausibility of this scheme, that he despatched the com- 
mander Bosio, in the disguise of a merchant, to Rhodes, 
to inquire into the general state of the island, the spirit 
of its Christian inhabitants, and to enter, if possible, 
into a negociation with the commandant of St. Nicholas. 
This Knight performed his mission with the most 
admirable tact, and on his return to Viterbo, gave a 
promising picture of the feasibility of the enterprise 
to the Grand-Master. The fortifications had been 
left unrepaired since the siege, and were in a ruinous 
condition. The Christian inhabitants of the island had 
found the Turkish yoke very different from the mild 
and beneficent government of the Knights, and were 
eager to enter into any project for the recovery of the 
island. The commandant of St. Nicholas had also 


pledged himself to join the movement, provided it were 
supported by an adequate force ; and it therefore only 
remained for L'Isle Adam to assemble an army, and at 
once take possession of his old home. Unfortunately, 
however, this was a matter involving no little delay, 
since the Order did not possess the means of raising 
such a force themselves, and would be compelled to seek 
the assistance of the monarchs of Europe. This there 
was but little . present hope of obtaining, owing to the 
distracted state of European politics.. The king of 
France was, at that moment, a prisoner in the hands of 
the emperor, having been captured at the close of the 
disastrous fight of Pavia, and a league was then form- 
ing between the Pope and the rulers of France and 
England, to check, if possible, the overpowering advance 
of Charles. 

At this juncture, L'Isle Adam was requested by the 
regent of France to act as an escort to the beautiful 
duchess of Alen9on, sister to the captive monarch, who 
trusted by her charms and wit to obtain terms for the 
liberation of her brother less rigorous than those which 
the emperor seemed determined to extort. As this 
proposal would enable him to obtain a personal inter- 
view with both monarchs, an object he had much in 
view, L'Isle Adam at once proceeded to Marseilles, 
whence he conveyed the lovely princess to her destina- 
tion. This movement gave so great umbrage to the 
emperor's ministers in Italy, who imagined that they 
perceived in the act a declaration of support to the 
French cause, that they at once sequestered the whole 
of the Order's property in that country. Lisle Adam 
was not prevented by this circumstance from pursuing 
the course he had previously intended ; he accompanied 


the duchess of Alen9on to Madrid, and aided her with all 
the keenness of his political sagacity in treating for the 
liberation of her brother. In this matter he was in 
fact far more successful than herself, for it was not 
until after she had been compelled to return to France, 
the period of her safe conduct having expired, that he 
succeeded in concluding a treaty between the rival 
monarchs whereby the French king regained his liberty. 
The successful issue of this negociation, which had in 
vain been attempted by the leading politicians of Europe, 
reflected the highest credit on the sagacity of L'Isle 
Adam, who from that moment earned for himself the 
title of the first diplomatist, as he was already con- 
sidered the leading captain, of Europe.* 

A heavy ransom having been one of the conditions 
upon which the liberty of the French monarch depended, 
a general levy was made throughout his dominions to 
raise the necessary funds. The privileges of the Order 
of St. John exempted their property in France from 
any share in this contribution ; still the fraternity were 
anxious to join in the good work of releasing her mon- 
arch, who had always proved himself most favourable 
to their interests. They therefore waived the privilege 

* On the occasion of the first interview which took place between 
the rival sovereigns after the conclusion of this treatj, L'Isle Adam 
being present, both monarchs having to pass through a door, the 
emperor offered the precedence to the king, which the latter declined. 
-Charles immediately appealed to the Grand-Master to decide this 
subtle point of etiquette, and he extricated himself from the difficulty 
bj the following ingenious answer, addressed to the king of France : 
— '* No one, sire, can dispute that the emperor is the mightiest prince 
in Christendom ; but as you are not only in his dominions but within 
his palace, it becomes you to accept the courtesy, by which he ac- 
knowledges you as the first of European kings." 


of exemption, and joined in the general levy upon the 
same terms as the other ecclesiastical bodies in the 
realm, merely requiring from the king letters patent, 
declaratory of the fact that this contribution was per- 
fectly voluntary on their part, and was under no cir- 
cumstances to be drawn into a precedent. A deed to 
this eflFect was therefore signed by the king at St. 
Germains, on the 19th of March 1527. 

This weighty matter having been settled, L'Isle Adam 
availed himself of the opportunity afforded by the pre- 
sence of the two sovereigns to submit his project for 
the re-capture of Rhodes. The emperor entered warmly 
into the views of the Grand- Master, and offered him a 
contribution of 25,000 crowns ; at the same time assert- 
ing that, should this design fail, he might still accept 
the island of Malta as a home. Gladdened by the suc- 
cess of this mission, L'Isle Adam left Spain in 1526 
and proceeded to France, where he trusted to obtain 
additional assistance to carry out his undertaking. 
Whilst there he was informed that Henry VIII., king of 
England, piqued at the fact of the Grand-Master having 
neglected to pay him a personal visit, as he had done to 
the other two great sovereigns of Europe, was seizing 
upon the revenues of the Order, and demanding from 
the Knights military service in his garrison of Calais. 
Undaunted by the severity of the winter and his own 
great age, L'Isle Adam determined on proceeding at 
once to London to mollify the offended potentate. He 
therefore despatched the commander Bosio to Cardinal 
Wolsey, to inform him of his intended visit. Henry, 
softened by this mark of deference, directed that he 
should be received with all possible honour, and every 
preparation was made to pay due respect to the hero of 

Rhodes* After Lniriz re^oe&i far socat dfcTs at the 

priory of CferlKiwelL Lr yrjo^iz^i w dw pabioe, 
where be wm rweir^ti bv ibe Vr.? whi die most 
gracioas coTdjalitT. To assbn rdn iii !:is des2«ii npon 
Rhodes, Henry proaiised Lim iLe n^* jif i'XCw crowns^ 
wtiich he afterwards paid in artlHery. a:ii at ilie same 
time withdrew all his obnoxious proc-itdlngs against 
the fraternity. 

L'IsLe Adam now returned to Italr. tmstinz to be 
enabled at length to organise his expeditionary Ibroe. 
Here he found everything in a state of the utmost con- 
fusion. The Pope had drawn down upon himself the 
vengeance of the emperor by joining in the league 
against him, and the Gdnstable Bourbon, who was that 
monarch's commander in Italy, led his tro3ps to the 
gates of Rome, and had the audacity to storm the sacred 
city and hand it over to pillage. After holding out for 
a month in the castle of St. Angelo, Clement was cap- 
tured and carried away a prisoner to Naples- These 
political storms completely destroyed the prospects of 
the fraternity ; nor was it until after a peace had been 
signed between the emperor and the Pope, nearly two 
years afterwards, that L'Isle Adam was enabled to gain 
any further hearing on behalf of his own interests. 
During that interval the favourable moment had been 
lost. Achmct Pasha had been assassinated ; the plots 
of the Rhodians had been discovered, and all hopes of 
success in that quarter were over. It only remained, 
therefore, to revert to the original project of the occu- 
pation of Malta ; and Clement, who had lately become 
reconciled to the emperor, exerted all his influence for 
the abatement of the obnoxious conditions upon which 
the island had been originally offered. 


The result of his interposition was, that an act of 
donation received the imperial signature at Sjfracuse, 
on the 24th March, ] 530, by which deed Charles vested 
in the Order of St. John the complete and perpetu&l 
sovereignty of the islands of Malta and Gozo, and the 
city of Tripoli, together with all their castles and for- 
tresses ; the only conditions attached to the gift being, 
that the Order should never make war upon the king- 
dom of Sicily ; that they should present an annual 
acknowledgment of a falcon to the viceroy ; that the 
emp>eror should have the selection of the bishop of Malt* 
from amongst three candidates to be nominated for that 
purpose by the Grand-Master; that this dignitary 
should have a seat in the council, where he should 
rank next to the Grand-Master; together with several 
other minor clauses touching the extradition of Sicilian 
criminal refugees and the selection of the commanders 
of the Order's galleys in the Mediterranean. The whole 
concluded with a proviso, that, should the fraternity at 
any time desire to abandon these islands, they were not 
to transfer them to any other power without the previous 
knowledge and consent of the emperor. Such were the 
terms upon which, after much negotiation, Charles was 
at length induced to surrender the comparatively value- 
less rocks of Malta and Gozo to a fraternity whose 
indefatigable perseverance and practised skill were 
destined to raise thereon one of the most powerful for- 
tresses in the world.* 

The above-mentioned deed was presented to ^he com- 
mander Bosio by the emperor in person, and that 
Knight instantly hurried off to place the precious docu- 

• Tide Appendix, No. 16. 


ment in the hands of the Grand-Master. During the 
journey he met with an accident from the overturning 
of his carriage, and the awkwardness of an unskilful 
surgeon caused a comparatively trivial injury to prove 
fatal. Feeling his end close at hand, and knowing the 
anxiety of his chief upon the subject of the Maltese 
question, he sent the deed forward under charge of 
a Rhodian gentleman by whom he had been accom- 

The donation of the emperor was promptly confirmed 
by a papal bull, upon the receipt of which L'Isle Adam 
sent two Grand-Crosses to Sicily to receive a formal 
investiture of the territory from the viceroy. After 
this ceremony had been completed they proceeded to 
take possession of their new acquisition, and to place 
members of the fraternity in command of the various 
posts surrendered to them. A dispute, which arose 
with the viceroy upon the subject of the free exporta- 
tion of corn, and the privilege of coining money within 
the new territory, impeded the Grand-Master for some 
months from proceeding to Malta ; but these difficulties 
having been adjusted, he at length set sail from Syra- 
cuse and landed safely in his new home. 

The first aspect which greeted the wanderers was cer- 
tainly not reassuring. Accustomed as they had been to 
the verdure and luxuriance of Rhodes, the richness and 
fertility of whose climate had procured for it the title of 
the garden of the Levant, they were but ill prepared 
for the rocky and arid waste which first met their view 
in Malta. Few persons who now behold the island, 
thronged as it is with the commerce of Europe and 
Asia, presenting a busy scene of wealth and prosperity, 
with its masses of fortification rising in frowning tiers 


around its harbours, can picture to themselves the 
desolate and unprotected rock which fell into the pos- 
session of the Order of St. John in the year 1530. 

The antecedent history of Malta is not important, and 
may be dismissed in a few words. Originally colonised 
by the Phoenicians, it was torn from their grasp by 
the Greeks in the eighth century before Christ, and 
remained in their possession for 200 years. At the ex- 
piration of that period the Carthaginians disputed the 
sovereignty of the island with them, and eventually 
succeeded in wresting it from their hands. In the 
second Punic war Sempronius finally established the 
dominion of Rome in Malta, and drove out its Cartha- 
ginian inhabitants. The Greeks, however, were allowed 
to remain, nor were their laws and customs interfered 
with. The island was attached to the government of 
Sicily, and was ruled by a pro-praetor or deputy gover- 
nor, dependent on that province. Whilst under their 
sway, Malta attained a very high pitch of civilisation 
and refinement. Situated in the centre of the Mediter- 
ranean, within a few days' sail from the shores of three 
continents, it speedily became a thriving mart for much 
of the commerce of Rome. Its manufactures of cotton 
and linen, and its public buildings — principally temples 
erected in honour of its favourite deities — were justly 
celebrated throughout the Mediterranean. On the divi- 
sion of the Roman empire, the island of Malta fell to 
the lot of Constantine, and from that period its deca- 
dence may be first dated. In the fifth century it was 
seized upon successively by the Vandals and Goths ; and 
although, in the sixth century, Belisarius, the general 
of Justinian, drove out the barbarians, and once more 

c 2 


established the Roman dominion, the island never re- 
attained its former prosperity. In the ninth century the 
Arabs made their appearance, and exterminating the 
Greek portion of the population, established a govern- 
ment dependent upon the emir of Sicily. 

At the close of the 11th century, Count Roger, the 
Norman, expelled the Saracens, and established a prin- 
cipality in Sicily and Malta, which was subsequently 
converted into a monarchy under his grandson. From 
that time the island followed the fortunes of the king- 
dom of Sicily through many changes of dominion, 
until at length they both fell into the possession of 
Spain, after the tragedy of the Sicilian Vespers. 

Its decadence during these successive stages had been 
uninterrupted ; and at the time when the emperor trans- 
ferred its governance to L'Isle Adam there was little 
left to tempt the cupidity or aggression of neigh- 
bouring powers. It contained neither river nor lake, 
and was very deficient in springs. Its Surface was a 
bare rock, almost destitute of earth, and its vegetation 
poor and insignificant. Scarce a tree was to be seen 
throughout the whole extent of the island, and the 
wretched villages in which the inhabitants dwelt par- 
took of the general air of poverty which prevailed 
everywhere. Its western side was rugged and inhospi- 
table, oflfering no shelter for maritime purposes; but 
the east and north were broken up into numberless 
creeks and harbours, several of which were of sufficient 
capacity to afford anchorage to the largest fleet. 

This was the great, indeed, the only point of attrac- 
tion which the island possessed for the Order of St. 
John. They had been for so many years accustomed 
to look to maritime enterprise as the source from 


whence their wealth and prosperity was to be derived : 
they had made their name so widely known* and so 
highly esteemed in the waters of the Mediterranean, 
that they would not willingly resign the position which 
their naval superiority had given them, by the establish- 
ment of a new home in any locality which did not give 
them the means of pursuing their favourite calling. 
This, and this only, was the motive which induced them 
to accept the desert rock of Malta, and to establish on 
it their convent home. Nature had done everything, 
both as regards general position and the natural con- 
figuration of its shores, to render it suitable for naval 
enterprise, and L'Isle Adam determined to strain every 
power of his Order to remedy, by adventitious aid, the 
numberless other disadvantages under which the island 

It would have appeared a sufficiently desolate prospect 
for the Order of St. John had they received these islands 
without any further addition ; but the emperor Charles, 
who well knew how to make the best of a bargain, had 
attached the possession of the city of Tripoli, as an 
absolute condition to the transfer of the other islands. 
The report of the commissioners, despatched to inspect 
this new acquisition, was sufficiently discouraging. 
Situated at a distance of more than two hundred miles 
from Malta, and surrounded on all sides by a piratical 
foe, it was not only scantily fortified, but at the same time 
there appeared no facilities for increasing its strength. 
The sandy nature of the soil, and the treacherous foun- 
dation which it presented, would render the erection of 
ramparts and the sinking of ditches a matter of the most 
extreme difficulty, if not absolutely impossible ; and it 

c 3 


was to be dreaded that any garrison which the fra- 
ternity might despatch for the protection of the town, 
would in all probability fall victims to the aggression of 
their neighbours, before assistance could be despatched 
from Mdta. They felt, however, that they were not 
now in a position to make any selection for themselves, 
and that the only course for them to pursue was to 
endeavour, by the exercise of every possible energy, to 
counterbalance the natural disadvantages of their new 

The day on which L'Isle Adam arrived at Malta 
was the 26th October, 1530, and he at once assumed 
monarchical power over the islands, of which he now 
became supreme sovereign. At the entrance of the 
Citta Notabile, — an insignificant assemblage of houses 
upon the summit of a hill in the centre of the island, and 
surrounded by a feeble fortification, — he was stopped 
by the closed gates until he had sworn upon the holy 
cross, the symbol of his religion, that he would preserve 
the privileges of the inhabitants and govern them in 
accordance with their ancient laws. The keys of the 
town were then presented to him, and he made his 
entry amidst the acclamations of the people, who 
trusted, and not without reason, that a new era was 
about to dawn upon them under the gentle sway of the 

The first care which occupied L'Isle Adam upon his 
arrival at Malta, was the selection of a suitable and 
defensible position for his convent. The fortifications 
of Malta at this period were of the most paltry kind. 
The Cittk Notabile, the capital of the island, was sur- 
rounded by a rampart, but of so miserable a character 


as to be almost utterly useless for purposes of defence. 
The only other attempt at a bulwark which the island 
possessed was the fort of St. Angelo, which, although 
considered the main keep of Malta, and the only pro- 
tection to its principal harbours, was of the most feeble 
description, and only armed by two or three small pieces 
of artillery. 

In order the better to comprehend the locality here 
referred to, and the alterations which were carried into 
effect under the directions of the Grand-Master, it will 
be well to enter into a short description of this part of 
the island. The main harbour of Malta is divided into 
two parts by an elevated and rugged promontory, jut- 
ting out from the mainland in a north-easterly direction, 
and called Mount Sceberras. The height of this tongue 
of land is such as to give it domination over all the 
surrounding points. The eastern of the two ports thus 
formed, is in its turn divided into three creeks by 
two minor promontories, of which the one nearest to 
the entrance of the harbour was that whereon the fort 
of St. Angelo stood. Behind the fort, and extending 
back into the mainland, was a small town, or rather 
village, known by the name of the Bourg. The other 
promontory was called Point St. Michael. The western 
harbour, which did not present such iacilities for safe 
anchorage as the main port, contained within it a small 
island, and was also much subdivided by the sinuosities 
of the coast line. On this side there were no works 
of defence of any description, nor any attempts at 

The practised eye of L'Isle Adam was not long in 
perceiving the advantages of the position of Mount 


Sceberras, dominating as it did over both harbours, and, 
owing to its formation, secure from attack, except on 
its land side. Here, therefore, he thought of establish- 
ing his convent, and of erecting works of sufficient 
magnitude for its protection ; but, unfortunately, the 
funds necessary for such an undertaking were not forth- 
coming. The migratory life which the Order had led 
for the preceding eight years, accompanied by a large 
colony of Rhodians to the number of nearly four 
thousand, all of whom subsisted mainly, if not entirely, 
upon the charity of the Order (which was distributed 
to them under the name of the breafd of Rhodes), had 
gone far towards exhausting the public treasury ; and 
he now found himself absolutely unable to undertake 
any work of magnitude, even though it might clearly 
prove of the most vital necessity. He therefore decided, 
as a temporary measure, upon establishing himself in 
the fort of St. Angelo, and upon fixing the convent of 
the Order in the surrounding Bourg. Such additions 
to the defences of the fort as his means permitted were 
at once constructed, and a line of intrenchment was 
drawn across the head of the promontory to enclose the 
Bourg, and to cover it, as far as practicable, from the 
surrounding dominating eminences. 

The Grand-Master was at this moment the less dis- 
posed to undertake any work of magnitude in Malta, 
because he still maintained hopes of being enabled to 
establish his convent in a more advantageous position 
elsewhere. When the commander Bosio had visited 
Rhodes with a view to ascertaining the feeling of the 
inhabitants of that island, he had at the same time 
opened negotiations in the town of Modon, a port in 
the Morea, which had been captured by the Turks some 


few years prior to Rhodes. The powtion of this city 
rendered it well adapted for maritime enterprise, and 
L'Isle Adam was the more anxious to obtain possession 
of it since its proximity to Rhodes would enable him 
to seize upon the first favourable opportunity for re- 
possessing himself of his old home. Two renegades, 
one the commandant of the port, the other the chief of 
the custom-house, had notified to Bono their willingness 
to enter into the views of the Christians and to assist 
them in seizing upon the town, provided a sufficient 
force were despatched to ensure success. 

On the 17th of August^, 1531, L'Isle Adam sent forth 
a fleet of eight galleys, under the command of Salviati, 
prior of Rome, to attempt the enterprise. On arriving 
near Modon, Salviati hid his fleet in a retired creek in 
the island of Sapienza, which lies oflF the mouth of the 
harbour, and smuggled into the port two brigantines 
ostensibly laden with timber, beneath which, however, 
lay concealed a body of soldiers. The renegades, faith- 
ful to their promise, admitted these vessels ; and the 
commandant of the port, in order to facilitate the seizure 
of the town, plied the janissaries under his command 
with wine, till they were all reduced to the most help- 
less state of intoxication. At break of day the troops 
landed from their concealment in the brigantine, mas- 
sacred the inebriated and helpless guard, and obtained 
possession of the principal gate of the city. A gun was 
then fired as a signal to the rest of the fleet to enter the 
port and follow up the advantage which had been 
gained, but a contrary wind prevented Salviati from 
hearing it, so that many hours were lost before any 
support arrived. Meanwhile the governor of the city, 
recovering from his first panic, and perceiving the 


paucity of the numbers by whom he was attacked, 
collected the townspeople together, and a desperate 
encounter followed. The Knights were well nigh over- 
powered, when Salviati at length, having been sum- 
moned from his hiding-place, by a boat sent to him for 
that purpose, made his appearance, and once more 
turned the fortune of the day. The Infidels were 
driven into the citadel, and the remainder of the town 
fell into the undisputed possession of the Christians. 
Unfortunately, however, a body of six thousand Turks 
lay encamped within a few miles of Modou, and a 
summons having been forwarded to them for assistance 
by the beleaguered governor, the Knights were again 
forced to abandon their enterprise, and to re-embark on 
board their galleys ; not, however, before they had 
completed the sack of the town, and carried away a 
vast amount of booty. The fleet returned to Malta, 
bearing with it eight hundred Turkish prisoners, prin- 
cipally women and children, and a prodigious quantity 
of plunder, which latter, however, falling to tlie shai-e 
of the individual adventurers, constituted no reimburse- 
ment to the exhausted treasury for the outlay caused by 
the expedition. 

The failure of this enterprise destroyed the last hopes 
which L'Isle Adam could have entertained of removing 
his convent to a more favourable situation than Malta. 
Nothing, therefore, remained, but to take such measures 
as should best insure the security of his fraternity in 
their new and precarious home. Many additions were 
made both to the fortifications and armament of the 
castle of St. Angelo. The ramparts which surrounded 
the Bourg, now rapidly rising from the position of a 
village into that of a town, were strengthened by de- 


tached works wherever the nature of the ground 
admitted of their construction. The fortifications of 
the Cittk Notabile were renewed and strengthened, and 
its protection intrusted to an ample garrison. At 
Tripoli similar precautions were taken, and a vessel 
having arrived from England laden with artillery, 
the present of Henry VIII. to the Order already 
alluded to, this seasonable acquisition was at once 
despatched thither to add to the armament of that ex- 
posed point. 

A general chapter was about this time convened in 
Malta, at which many reforms were decreed, rendered 
highly necessary by the degeneracy of the Order. It 
would be vain to deny that a material change had of 
lat« years been wrought in the feelings and aspirations 
of those who sought to assume the White Cross of the 
Hospital. The religious element which had originally 
predominated in the constitution of the Order, and in 
the lives of its fraternity, had gradually died out. 
True, there was the same outward observance of the 
ceremonies of their religion. Each postulant still took 
the three oaths of chastity, poverty, and obedience. 
He was still told to consider himself a poor soldier of 
Jesus Christ, whose life was to be dedicated to the 
defence of His holy faith, and the relief of the poor ; 
but these exhortations had gradually come to be con- 
sidered in the light of a mere form. The Order of St. 
John had, upon so many a gloriously won battle-field, 
and behind so many a well-defended rampart, earned 
for itself a name of such dazzling pre-eminence upon 
the proud roll of chivalry, that the badge of its founder, 
the White Cross of Peter Gerard, originally assumed as 
a mark of Christian humility and devotion, was now 


coveted as a decoration, which enrolled its wearer a 
member of one of the proudest and most noble institu- 
tions of the age. Worldly aspirations and worldly 
dignities had long since taken the place of those celestial 
rewards which, in the earlier ages of the institution, had 
been the object of the Knights' ambition. It is true 
that whenever an assault was made, either upon their 
religion or upon their home, the Knights of St. John 
were still found ready and willing to shed the last drop 
of their blood in defence of either, invariably scorn- 
ing to purchase a dishonoured life by the abandonment 
of their faith; still- the religious entlmsiasm which 
had nerved so many of their predecessors during the 
desperate struggles of the 12th and 13th centuries, had 
vanished from the world, or, at most, showed itself in 
very feeble and fitful flashes. In its place the haughty 
bearing and the .arrogant assumption of a prosperous 
military fraternity, renowned as highly for its wealth 
and its territorial power as for its warlike achievements, 
gradually appeared, and eventually became the distin- 
guishing characteristic of the Order. 

L'Isle Adam had watched with sorrow the rapid ad- 
vance of this decadence on the part of his Knights, — a 
degeneracy which the events of late years had materially 
expedited. The close of his life was, from this cause, 
doomed to be spent amidst scenes of domestic strife 
and political discord. Well would it have been for him 
had he fallen gloriously during the memorable siege so 
imperishably connected with his name ; but it had been 
otherwise decreed, and he was fated to pass his last 
hours in a scene of turmoil most distressing to his 
benevolent heart. The first subject of dispute which 


arose to embitter his remaining days, sprang from the 
succession to the bishopric of Malta. 

By the act of donation, Charles had reserved to him- 
self and his successors the power of nomination to this 
post, by a selection from amongst three candidates, to be 
named by the Order. When the first vacancy occurred, the 
Grand-Master was most anxious that the dignity, which 
involved a very high position in the Order, should be 
conferred upon Thomas Bosio, the brother of the com- 
mander, whose diplomatic services have been so fre- 
quently mentioned. Bosio was already vice-chancellor 
of the Order; but L'Isle Adam conceived that his 
brother's services should be repaid by a still higher 
dignity. He therefore named him as one of the three 
candidates for the vacant post, and at the same time 
wrote a pressing letter to the Pope, entreating him to 
use his influence with the emperor to obtain the ap- 
pointment for Bosio. This the Pope promptly did, and 
received a reply from the emperor, assuring him that 
his request should be complied with. A considerable 
delay, however, took place, before the nomination was 
made public ; but eventually, the act appointing Bosio 
to the vacant bishopric was deposited in the hands of 
the ambassador of the Order, then resident at the em- 
peror's court. All appeared now smooth and satis- 
factory. The Grand-Master despatched Bosio to Rome 
with the emperor's deed of nomination, and with his 
own thanks to his eminence for the share he had taken 
in the matter. What was the surprise of the expectant 
bishop, when the Pope announced to him that he had 
already nominated another person to the post ! 

The object the Pope had in view, in thus nullifying 


his own request, does not appear very clear. It pro- 
bably arose partly from a pique on his part, at the 
delay of the emperor in acceding to his request, and 
partly from a desire to retain so valuable a piece of 
patronage within his own hands. All remonstrance, on 
the part both of the emperor and Grand-Master, proved 
unavailing, and the dispute remained unsettled until 
the death of the pontiff, three years later, when his 
successor, anxious to conciliate the emperor, confirmed 
the appointment to Bosio. 

This solution to the affair did not take place till after 
the death of L'Isle Adam, and the disappointment which 
he had experienced in his attempts to provide for the 
meritorious Bosio embittered his latest hours. Another 
dark cloud which gathered over his declining moments 
was the blow which the Order received in England at 
this period, from the religious revolution which was 
taking place in that country. The history of this re- 
formation is too well known to need any recapitulation 
here. The unworthy cause which cast a slur upon other- 
wise so beneficial a measure, has always afforded a han- 
dle to the enemies of the Protestant religion, whereby 
to direct their efforts to its overthrow. But, however 
advantageous to the people of this country that reform- 
ation may have been, it most undoubtedly proved a very 
serious blow to the prosperity of the Hospital. 

Long before Henry had renounced his allegiance to 
the Church of Rome, he had displayed symptoms of his 
grasping temperament towards the Order of St. John. 
The haughty monarch could ill brook that so many 
broad acres, and so many a fair domain, should be pos- 
sessed by a power which yielded him no allegiance ; and 
he had more than once availed himself of the slightest 


pretext to encroach upon the property of the Knights of 
St. John. Now, however, when he had thrown away 
the mask, and had pUiced himself at the head of the re- 
ligious movement which had been fermenting for years 
within his realm, his measures with regard to the pro- 
perty of the Hospital, and the Knights themselves, were 
as prompt and decisive as, from his arbitrary nature, 
might have been anticipated. Those meaaurea, however, 
did not receive their development during the life of 
L'Isle Adam. The cloud which he perceived to be 
gathering on the political horizon of England, did not 
burst over the unfortunate members of his Order, in 
that country, till after his death ; still enough was appa- 
rent to sadden his last hours, and to leave him full of 
anxious forebodings for the future. 

He was moreover feted, before his death, to become 
the witness of an internal disorder within the limits of 
his own convent, of a nature so serious as almost to 
endanger the existence of the community. The quarrel 
originated in a dispute between one of the secular re- 
tainers of the prior of Rome and a young Knight of 
the language of Provence. A duel ensued, in which the 
Knight was killed, not without grave suspicion of trea- 
chery on the part of his opponent. Several of the Pro- 
ven9Bl Knights, under this impression, sought out the 
offending party, and, finding him surrounded by hia 
frienda, a struggle ensued, in which some of the Italians 
were wounded, and the whole body driven to seek refuge 
in the palace of the prior. The remainder of that dig- 
nitary's household, who were very numerous, enraged at 
this attack upon their comrades, armed themselves, and 
sallied forth for vengeance. Without distinguishing the 
offending Provcn9al Knights from those of the other 


French languages, they assaulted them all indiscrimi- 
Kiat^ljf and thos a civil war broke out between the 
French languages on the one side, and that of Italy, to 
which the Spaniards and Portuguese joined themselves^ 
on the other. The prior of Rome placed under arrest 
those of his suite who had been guilty of a breach of 
Uie peace, but this step was not considered a sufficient 
reparation by the French Knights. They attacked the 
galley of the prior, where the offending individuals had 
been confined, and murdered four of them in cold blood. 
This lawless proceeding brought about a general collision 
between the antagonbtic languages, and a regular en- 
gagement ensued in the streets. In vain the Grand- 
Master despatched messages to the combatants, directing 
thi/m to disperse, under pain of the severest penalties. 
His menaces were unheeded, and the remainder of the 
day was passed in strife and confusion. Towards night, 
however, the liailiff of Manosque, who was possessed of 
great influence with both the rival factions, succeeded 
by personal intervention in quelling the disorder, and 
dispersing the combatants. 

Severe measures were necessary for the punishment 
of so serious an outbreak, and L'Isle Adam, aged and 
feeble as he was, proved himself equal to the occasion. 
After a rigid examination, the ringleaders in the outrage 
were condemned to expulsion from the Order, which 
sentence was rigidly carried into execution. Bosio 
asserts that several of the most guilty were condemned 
to death, and thrown alive into the sea, but this state- 
ment has not been corroborated by any other historian, 
nor do the records existing in the archives of the Order 
substantiate the fact.* It is very clear that, in this 

* Tbis affair will be found included in the catalogue of crimes ex- 


point, the generally truthful Italian has been led into 

It was amidst scenes such as these, that L'Isle Adam 
brought his long and glorious life to a close ; and at 
length a violent fever induced that end which he had so 
often braved, and always escaped, at the hand of the 
Infidel. On the 22nd August 1534, he expired, aged 
upwards of seventy years, to the great grief of the whole 
fraternity. Never had the Order sustained so signal a 
loss, as that it was now called upon to mourn. The 
heroism and grandeur of L'Isle Adam's character were 
such, that the clouds of adversity only set it forth with 
greater lustre. The loss of Rhodes, the greatest disaster 
which had ever befallen the Order, since that of Jeru- 
salem, has connected itself so imperishably with his 
name, that he has gained a higher renown for his con- 
duct in that calamity, than other men have achieved by 
the most brilliant victories. As the establisher of his fra- 
ternity in the island of Malta, and the agent of its resus- 
citation after its late desperate losses, he may be looked 
upon as its third parent and founder. Raymond du Puy 
has associated his name inseparably with the original 
foundation of the Institution. It was to Fulk de Villaret 
that the Order was indebted for their establishment in 
their lovely island-home at Rhodes, and it is to L'Isle 
Adam that the merit is due, of having guided their 
fortunes to that rocky island in the centre of the Medi- 
terranean, where, for upwards of two centuries and a 
half, waved the banner of St. John, an honour to 
Christianity, and a terror to the Infidel of the East. 

tracted from the manuscript records of the Order, and given at the 
close of Chap. XXI. It will there be seen that no further punish- 
ment was awarded beyond depriration of the habit 

VOL. 11. D 











The council, assembled for the election of a successor 
to their deceased chief, ended by nominating Peter 
Dupont, a member of a Piedmontese family, to that 
post. At the time of his election, Dupont was residing 
at his priory in Calabria ; and it was with extreme re- 
luctance that he accepted the dignity, his great age 
rendering him unwilling to undertake the onerous 
duties of a Grand-Master, at the perilous crisis in which 
the affairs of the Order then stood. Eventually, how- 
ever, these scruples were overcome, and Dupont set out 
for Malta to assume the duties of his new office. 

The dangerous position in which the garrison of 
Tripoli was placed rendered the maintenance of this 



post a subject of anxious consideration to the new 
Grand-Master ; and he turned his eyes towards Charles 
v., then by far the most powerful potentate in Europe, 
for assistance in its protection. Charles had originally 
bestowed this thankless gift upon the Order, partly to 
escape the expense of its maintenance himself, and 
partly in the hope that the establishment of the Order 
of St. John in that spot might act as a check to the 
piratical enterprises of the surrounding princes. He 
was, therefore, well disposed to render every assistance 
in his power towards the support of this fortress ; and 
the request for aid, which was despatched by Peter 
Dupont, reached Madrid at a moment when Charles V. 
was already contemplating a descent upon Africa from 
other motives. 

The northern coasts of that continent, abutting upon 
the Mediterranean, had first been occupied by the 
Arabians during the latter part of the seventh century. 
Thecountry had gradually become subdivided into several 
kingdoms, of which Morocco, Algiers, and Tunis were 
the most important. These principalities were in- 
habited by a mixed race, comprised of the original 
Arabian conquerors, the negroes, who had spread them- 
selves over that country from the more southern pro- 
vinces, and the Moors, who had been driven thither 
from Spain during the preceding two centuries. Until 
the commencement of the sixteenth century, these 
petty kingdoms interfered but seldom in the politics of 
Europe ; and their very existence was but little known, 
and as little cared for. 

At that time, however, a revolution took place, which 
materially altered their position. Two of the four sons 
of a Turkish inhabitant of Mitylene, named •Horuc 

D 2 



and Hayradin, prompted by a spirit of restlessness, 
abandoned their father's island, and joined a crew of 
pirates. Their daring and skill in this their new call- 
ing soon raised them to the command of the band ; and 
they gradually augmented their forces until they had 
assembled a fleet of twelve galleys, besides many smaller 
vessels. Calling themselves the Friends of the Sea, and 
the enemies of all who sailed thereon, they scoured the 
Mediterranean from end to end, and rendered their 
names terrible in every part of its waters. These 
brothers were both known by the surname of Barba- 
Tossa, from the red colour of their beards ; and whilst 
Horuc Barbarossa was recognised as the supreme chief, 
the authority of Hayradin Barbarossa was but little 
inferior. Increasing in ambition as their power and 
fame extended, they at length sought the acquisition of 
a port, from whence they might carry on their buc- 
caneering expeditions in security. 

An opportunity was not long in presenting itself. 
Called in by the king of Algiers, to support him in a 
war with a neighbouring chief, Horuc succeeded in 
dethroning and murdering that monarch, and in estab- 
lishing himself in his place as king of Algiers. To 
render himself the more secure, he placed his new 
acquisition under the protection of the Turkish sultan, 
to whom he tendered the homage of a tributary prince. 
That monarch, with whose ambitious views it well 
accorded to add these extensive provinces to his empire, 
accepted the proffered homage, and promised his support 
to the self-elected monarch. 

In the year 1518, Horuc fell in an action against the 
Marquis de Comares, the Spanish governor of Oran; 
and hi» brother Hayradin assumed the sceptre vacant by 


his death. The fame of his naval exploits, in this ne^y 
dignity, having reached Constantinople, the sultan 
appointed him to the supreme command of the entire 
Turkish fleet ; and Barbarossa repaired thither full of a 
new project of aggrandisement, which had just then 
presented itself to his ambition. The late king of 
Tunis had died leaving a progeny of no less than thirty- 
four sons ; the youngest of these, named Muley Hassan, 
had been appointed his successor by the late king, over 
whom the mother of Muley Hassan had obtained a 
great influence. This nomination having been se- 
cured, Muley Hassan at once poisoned his father ; and 
assuming the sceptre, promptly put to death as many of 
his brothers as he could get into his power. 

Al Raschid, one of the eldest, succeeded, however, in 
making his escape, and fled to Algiers to implore the 
protection of Barbarossa. This wily potentate at once 
promised his support, and took the fugitive to Constan- 
tinople, where he trusted to obtain means from the 
sultan for the prosecution of his enterprise. He there 
laid open to Solyman his project for the acquisition of 
Tunis, by means of the claims of Al Raschid. A power- 
ful fleet and a numerous army were, for this purpose, 
entrusted to his command by the sultan, with which 
he set sail for Tunis, the unfortunate Al Raschid being 
retained a prisoner in the seraglio at Constantinople. 
Arrived ofl^ Tunis, Barbarossa succeeded in obtaining 
possession of the fort of Goletta through the treachery 
of its commander. This fort commands the bay of 
Tunis, and on it the protection of the town entirely 
depends. Possessed of this important point, Barba- 
rossa soon effected an entrance into Tunis ; still main- 
taining the pretence that his object was the restoration 

D 3 


of Al Raschid. Once established in the town, he re- 
linquished this subterfuge, and proclaimed himself king 
of Tunis. Muley Hassan, who had fled at his approach, 
proceeded direct to Madrid, and there implored Charles 
to assist him in regaining his kingdom. 

This application, arriving at the same time as that 
of the Grand-Master Dupont, induced Charles V. to 
undertake such an expedition into Africa as should 
establish a friendly power in the neighbourhood of 
Tripoli, in lieu of that of the redoubtable Barbarossa. 
This expedition he determined on commanding in per- 
son, and the whole power of his extended dominions 
was called into play for its successful prosecution. The 
army was composed of Italians, Germans, and Spaniards ; 
whilst the fleet, commanded by Andrew Doria, the 
greatest naval hero of the age, was numerous and well 
equipped. The Knights of Malta contributed to the 
force a contingent of four large galleys, eighteen armed 
brigantiues, and the great carrack of the Order. 

The army, consisting of 30,000 men, landed without 
impediment on the shores of Tunis, in close proximity 
to the fort of Goletta. This fort was garrisoned by 
6,000 Turks, under the command of a renegade Jew, 
named Sinan, the most able and daring of Barbarossa's 
lieutenants. The siege was opened in form, and after 
its ramparts had been duly breached, it was carried by 
assault ; the Knights of St. John occupying, as usual, 
the van upon this occasion, and rivalling their ancient 
fame by the desperate valour with which they carried 
the obstinately defended breach. 

Barbarossa was both surprised and dismayed at the 
loss of this protecting bulwark. Garrisoned as it had 
been by the flower of his army, and defended by so 


daring a spirit as his lieutenant Sinan, he had esteemed 
it impregnable, and now that it had fallen the road to 
Tunis lay open to the conqueror. The whole of Bar- 
barossa's fleet, together with an enormous accumulation 
of military stores, fell, by this success, into the hands of 
the emperor, who, as he entered the breached rampart, 
turned to Muley Hassan, then in attendance on him, 
and said, " Here is the gate open for you by which 
you shall return to take possession of your kingdom." 

Barbarossa had assembled a large force, principally 
composed of the Moors and Arabs of the neighbouring 
tribes ; but he soon found that but little confidence was 
to be placed either in their valour or their fidelity. 
With such an army he considered that it would be un- 
wise to attempt a defence of Tunis, or to await the 
emperor's arrival before its walls. He determined, 
therefore, upon advancing boldly to meet the Christians, 
and to encounter them upon the open plain, where his 
wild horsemen might be made more available than they 
could have been behind the ramparts of Tunis. He 
had, however, one great source of uneasiness in the 
number of Christian slaves who were at that moment 
in captivity within the town. These numbered no less 
tlmn 10,000, and Barbarossa feared that, should he 
leave them irithout an adequate guard, they would 
avail themselves of the opportunity to rise and assert 
their- freedom. With the ruthless barbarity which 
had marked ever}' step in his career, he proposed a 
general massacre of the whole body, as the most cer- 
tain method of ensuring the town against their at- 
tempts. Fortunately, however, he encountered a warm 
opposition to this sanguinary suggestion from all his 
own immediate partisans. The atrocious and cowardly 

B 4 


brutality of the proposition was too great, even for 
the piratical horde whom Barbarossa had assembled 
beneath his banner; added to which their interests 
were as far opposed to the measure as their inclina- 
tions. The Jew Sinan was the possessor of a large 
number of these slaves, and many of the other leaders 
were likewise considerable proprietors. They there- 
fore resisted this proposition for the wholesale destruc- 
tion of their property so strenuously, that Barbarossa 
was forced to abandon the idea and to sally forth to 
meet the emperor, leaving the slaves as well guarded 
as his limited means would permit. 

The action which ensued was hardly worthy of the 
name : although the forces of Barbarossa far exceeded 
those of the emperor in point of numbers, they were 
not to be compared to them in discipline or steadi- 
ness. The very first shock decided the day, nor could 
the utmost efibrts of Barbarossa's valour rally his re- 
treating battalions. The flight towards Tunis became 
general, and Barbarossa hastened to re-enter the city 
in order to take proper measures for its defence. Here, 
however, he found that his fears with regard to the 
Christian captives had proved well founded. As soon 
as they had learnt the departure of the army, they had 
risen upon their guards, recovered their liberty, and 
seized upon the citadel, which they now held against 
the retreating Barbarossa. Amongst these captives was 
a Knight of St. John, named Simeoni, the same who 
had in early youth greatly distinguished himself in the 
defence of the island of Lero against a Turkish force. 
This Knight immediately placed himself at the head of 
his brethren in misfortune, and took such prompt and 
energetic steps, that the whole city speedily fell into his 


possession. Barbarossa was compelled to fly, and his 
troops rapidly dispersed. 

Simeoni advanced to meet the emperor, and announced 
to him the steps he had taken to secure the town, 
Charles, who was overjoyed at this unlooked-for assist- 
ance, embraced the Knight warmly and lauded him in 
the most emphatic terms for the intrepidity and dis- 
cretion with which he had acted. Muley Hassan was 
restored to his throne as a tributary to Spain, and the 
expedition being thus happily ended, the Knights re- 
turned to Malta laden with substantial marks of the 
emperor's satisfaction. They arrived there in time to 
witness the last hours of their Grand-Master, who died 
shortly afterwards, having wielded the baton of the 
Order little more than a year. 

He was succeeded by Didier de St. Gilles, whose short 
reign was undistinguished by any act of importance, if 
we except the destruction of a fort called Alcade, which 
the Algerines had constructed in immediate proximity to 
Tripoli. Botigella, to whom had been confided the com- 
mand of the galleys of the Order in the late expedition, 
was entrusted with this enterprise also ; and the com- 
plete success which crowned his efforts marked the 
wisdom of the choice. The tower was completely razed, 
in spite of every effort on the part of the Algerines to 
save it ; and the expedition returned triumphantly to 
Malta. St. Gilles did not live long enough even to reach 
the head- quarters of his Order, but died at Montpelier, 
at which town he was residing for the benefit of his 

The vacancy which thus occurred gave rise to a warm 
contention in the election of a successor. The two 
commanders, Botigella and De GroMe, the latter of 



whom had led the land forces of the Order in the attack 
on Tunis, were both considered to have the highest 
claim upon the vacant dignity ; but the Spanish Knights, 
whose influence in the Order had of late wonderfully 
increased, in yirtue of the power of their emperor, were 
determined upon the election of a member of their own 
language, and John d'Omedes, a Knight of the language 
of Aragon, was nominated to the post. Although his 
claims were by no means equal to those either of Boti- 
gella or De Grol^e, he had nevertheless much distin- 
guished himself during the siege of Rhodes, where he 
had lost an eye in defending the Spanish post. 

The memory of D'Omedes has been most undeservedly 
vilified by the historians of the Order. These writers, 
who are almost all French, have evidently imbibed 
warm feelings of partisanship in the struggle between 
the emperor Charles and their o^vn king, Francis. 
Everything Spanish has been, therefore, looked upon by 
them with a jaundiced eye; and D'Omedes, whose 
election had in it much calculated in itself to awaken the 
jealousies of the rival languages, has borne the brunt of 
this unfavourable bias. It cannot, however, be denied, 
that many of the acts of his rule were unjustifiable ; 
and that he was too often guided by a blind partiality 
for his own nation. 

A feeling of jealousy against the commander Boti- 
gella, who had rivalled him in the election for the Grand- 
Mastership, prompted him to remove that Knight from 
the command of the galleys, which post he conferred 
upon a young Florentine, named Strozzi, whose name 
subsequently became celebrated as one of the most ad- 
venturous and daring corsairs of the Mediterranean. At 
the time of his appointment, however, he had done but 


little to signalise himself; nor could his claims for the post 
have stood, for one moment, a comparison with those 
of Botigella, It appears most probable, that D'Omedes 
did not consider it safe to continue so important a trust 
in the hands of a man who he suspected of being vio- 
lently inimical to himself, and that the change was made 
as a matter of self defence. 

A feeling of anxiety had constantly existed amongst 
the Order, respecting the position of the city of Tripoli, 
Though everything had been done which their limited 
means permitted, t6e place was still but very feebly 
fortified ; and each successive governor, as he returned 
to the convent, urged upon the council the necessity for 
some further measures being taken to increase the security 
of the town. These representations became at length so 
urgent, that the Grand-Master appealed to the emperor 
Charles, pointing out the insecure position of the post, 
and the total inability of the Order, in the then ex- 
hausted condition of its treasury, to pro^dde the funds 
necessary for strengthening its defences; and urging 
upon him the necessity of either undertaking that service 
himself, or of permitting the Knights to abandon the town. 
The reply of Charles to this petition, was a demand upon 
the Order to join him in an expedition which he was con- 
templating against the town of Algiers, still the strong- 
hold of Barbarossa^ and the chief haunt of those pirati- 
cal hordes, whose incessant depredations kept the coasts 
of the Mediterranean in a continual state of alarm. He 
trusted by crushing this nest of piracy to ensure the 
security of Tripoli without further outlay, at the same 
time that he would be relieving his maritime subjects 
from an incubus which had long weighed them down. 

Four hundred Knights, each accompanied by two 


armed attendants, formed the contingent which the 
Order contributed to the army of the emperor. Charles, 
inflated by the success of his late expedition against 
Tunis, his first personal military exploit, determined 
once again to lead his forces himself, and directed a 
general rendezvous in the island of Majorca. In vain 
his veteran admiral Doria remonstrated with him upon 
the imprudence of attempting a maritime expedition so 
late in the year, when the storms, which at that season 
usually scourge the Mediterranean, might at any moment 
utterly destroy his fleet. Charles was not to be diverted 
from his purpose by any such prudential considerations, 
and he persisted in at once prosecuting the enterprise. 
The result proved the sagacity of Doria, and the fool* 
hardiness of Charles. The army landed before Algiers, 
and commenced operations against it; but two days 
after they had broken ground, a fearful storm arose, 
which not only deluged the camp, and prostrated the 
army, but caused the far more irreparable loss of almost 
the entire fleet, which had been lying oflF the coast, and 
the great bulk of which was driven on shore. Fifteen 
of his galleys, and a hundred and forty transports and 
store-ships, were lost during this fearful tempest. 

Doria, who by the exercise of superior seamanship, 
had succeeded in rescuing a small remnant of his fleet 
from the dangers of the sea, took shelter under Cape 
Matafas, whence he despatched messengers to the 
emperor, announcing his whereabouts ; and a most 
harassing march of three days brought the retreating 
army to the spot. During this movement, the Knights 
of St. John had ample opportunity for distinction, in 
repelling the incessant attacks of the Moorish cavalry, 
who hovered round the retiring army. Their losses. 


while performing this service, were very severe, and but 
few survived to bear the tale of their disaster to their 
brethren in Malta. 

The failure of this expedition rendered the position 
of Tripoli still more precarious ; and in this crisis, the 
Grand-Master and council selected for the onerous post 
of governor, a Proven9al Knight, called John de la 
Valette ; a name which subsequent events rendered one 
of the most illustrious in the annals of his Order. Even 
at this time La Valette had distinguished himself by his 
bravery and zeal in numerous cruising excursions against 
the Turks. He had never quitted Malta from the day of 
his admission into the Order, except upon the occasions of 
these cruises ; and had risen from post to post within 
its ranks, until he had attained a very high position. 

The fate of Tripoli was destined, however, to be 
postponed for yet a little while; and ere its fall was 
accomplished, Malta itself had a very narrow escape 
of a similar misfortune. Barbarossa having died at 
Constantinople, was succeeded in the command of the 
Turkish fleet by his lieutenant Dragut. This man had 
attained a notoriety in the Mediterranean, second only 
to that of his chief; and his assumption of the command 
of the naval power of Solyman was followed by prompt 
and decisive measures on his part. He possessed himself 
of the town of Mehedia, a port situated midway between 
Tunis and Tripoli, and here he established a naval dep6t 
in the most dangerous contiguity to the latter strong- 
hold. D'Oraedes viewed with a very natural alarm the 
new danger which menaced his already too feeble out- 
post ; and he persuaded the emperor to direct an expe- 
dition against this additional foe. 

Charles was the more readily induced to accede to 


this request, partly because he was desirous of wiping 
out the remembrance of his late failure in the attack of 
Algiers, and partly because the proximity of the Turkbh 
corsair menaced the coasts of Naples and Sicily, 'fhe 
Order of St. John despatched a contingent to join the 
main force under the command of the emperor's cele- 
brated admiral Doria, consisting of one hundred and 
forty Knights, and about five hundred soldiers in the 
pay of the Order ; the whole being under the command 
of the bailiflF De la Sangle. The siege of Mehedia com- 
menced at the end of June 1550, and after a desperate 
resistance, ended in the success of the Christians. As it 
was not contemplated that the place should be retained, 
the fortifications were razed, and the post abandoned, as 
soon as it had been rendered untenable to the Turks. 

This success, in which the Knights had the principal 
share, brought down upon them the fierce anger of the 
Turkish sultan; and he at once commenced prepara- 
tions for a gigantic armament, with which he purposed 
utterly to destroy the Order in their new home. Neither 
time nor means were available for D'Omedes to place 
his island in a proper state of defence ; and when, on 
the 16th July 1551, the Turkish fleet, under command 
of Dragut, anchored off the Marsa Musceit, but few 
additions had been made to the feeble fortifications with 
which the Bourg and the castle of St. Angelo were pro- 
\l tected. The commanders of the Turkish armament 

'.] landed upon Mount Sceberras, and from that elevated 

■^ point surveyed the castle of St. Angelo. Fortunately 

for the prospects of the Order, the great natural 
/ strength of the fort daunted the ardour of the Turkish 

leaders, and they abandoned the idea of an assault at 
that point, preferring to commence operations against 


the Citti Notabile. The troops wei^e, therefore, disem- 
barked, and marched directly into the interior of the 
island ; taking with them a sufficient power of artillery 
to enable them to prosecute the siege of the town. 
Feeble as its defences were, and powerful the force 
which appeared against it, the garrison stoutly main- 
tained their resistance; and, fortunately for them, 
intimation reached the Turkish commander, that Doria 
had set sail for the relief of Malta with a large fleet. 
This intelligence, which was completely false, so far 
terrified Dragut that he decided upon abandoning 
his attempts on Malta, and re-embarked his troops with 
the utmost expedition. As a last effort, he made a 
descent upon the defenceless island of Gozo, which he 
ravaged without resistance ; the governor, De Lessa, 
having behaved upon the occasion with the most abject 

The attempt upon Malta having thus signally failed, 
Dragut directed his course towards the city of Tripoli, 
with a firm determination of accomplishing its utter 
destruction. At this time, the governor of Tripoli was 
Gaspard La Yallier, a French Knight, and the Marshal 
of the Order. To the summons of the Turk he replied 
with the most disdainful pride ; and the siege was com- 
menced in due form. D'Aramont, the French ambassa- 
dor at Constantinople, vainly endeavoured to divert the 
efforts of the besiegers ; and the works were pushed 
forward with the most portentous rapidity. Treachery 
within the town aided the efforts of those in its front, 
and eventually La Yallier was forced to treat for a 
capitulation. The most honourable terms were granted ; 
but when the time arrived for their execution, they 
were basely violated ; and the garrison^ together with 


a considerable number of the citizens, were made 
prisoners. D'Aramont, who had been compulsorily 
detained with the Turkish army throughout the siege, 
now exerted himself to the utmost ; and partly by his 
influence, and partly by the expenditure of a con- 
siderable sum of money, he caused them all to be ran- 
somed, and set sail with them for Malta, where he 
doubtless anticipated being received with the gratitude 
he so well deserved. 

The general feeling in Malta, at the news of the loss 
of Tripoli, was very bitter ; and D'Aramont, on landing 
there, felt that he was looked upon rather with feelings 
of distrust and antipathy, than with the regard which 
he had expected. He set sail, therefore, for Constanti- 
nople, embittered with the conviction that the acts of 
kindness which he had performed for the miserable 
garrison had been sadly misconstrued. D'Omedes, 
feeling that he himself was not without blame, in 
having neglected to provide assistance to the menaced 
city, and anxious to divert the popular wrath into 
another channel, caused the Marshal la Vallier to be 
arrested, with three of his companions in arms. Never 
was innocent man more basely sacrificed to popular 
clamour than upon this occasion ; and La Vallier, than 
whom a braver man or a more skilful captain, did not 
exist within the ranks of the fraternity, was stripped of 
his habit and imprisoned ; and, but for the bold and 
indignant remonstrances of a Knight named ViUigagnon, 
he would have suffered a still worse fate. 

Whilst these events were taking place, the course of 
the religious revolution in England had gradually been 
reaching its climax. The commencement of the quarrel 
between that country and the Pope of Rome had already 


assumed the most threatening aspect prior to the de- 
cease of the Grand- Master L'lale Adam ; and his fears 
for the security and permanence of the English lan- 
guage had embittered the last moments of that venerable 
chief. Since then matters had rapidly reached their 
culminating point ; and the reformation in England 
soon developed itself in its full proportions. An insti- 
tution like that of the Order of St. John, still main- 
taining fealty to that pontiff whose ecclesiastical au- 
thority was no longer recognised within the realm, was 
not likely to remain long undisturbed under the new 
regime. Henry VIII. had, previously to his renuncia- 
tion of papal domination, displayed an anxious desire 
to interfere in the affairs of the Order in England, and 
to possess himself of much of their wealth ; and now 
the moment had arrived when a plausible pretext was 
afforded him for carrying that design into execution. 

There exists in the archives of Malta a document 
addressed to the Grand-Master by this monarch, which 
very clearly demonstrates the rapacity that characterised 
his conduct towards the Order. This document, which 
until lately has been totally unnoticed, is dated on the 
7th of July 1538, at Westminster; and assumes the 
form of letters patent, commencing by entitling Henry 
the supreme head of the Anglican Church, and the 
protector of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. It 
then declares : First, That for himself and his successors, 
he gives licence to brother William West, Grand-Prior 
of the priory of England, to confer the habit, and 
receive the profession requisite to admit such English 
subjects as may desire to enter the Order under the 
usual conditions, provided always that such postulant 
shall have been previously required to take an oath of 



allegiance to the said monarch, as his supreme lord, in 
accordance with the form duly instituted for the pur- 
pose, which oath the king exacts from all his subjects, 
both lay and clerical. Secondly, That any person nomi- 
nated by the Grand-Master in council to a commandery 
situated within the limits of the kingdom of England, 
shall be required to obtain a confirmation of his 
appointment from the king. Such newly-appointed 
commander will be required to pay the revenues of the 
first year, accruing from his commandery, into the 
king's treasury ; nor will he be permitted to receive his 
nomination to the commandery until he shall have 
previously taken the oath of allegiance, and have paid 
the said year's revenue, or at all events have given due 
security for its subsequent payment. Thirdly, It shall 
not be lawful for the Order of St. John to make ele- 
emosynary collections* within the realm of England, 
unless in virtue of a royal warrant ; which warrant 
shall contain the express clause that such collection was 
not made in virtue of any bull from the Roman pontifiT, 
but under letters patent emanating from the king of 
England. Fourthly, Those brethren holding, or here- 
after promoted to commanderies within the realm of 
England, shall not recognise, support, or promote the 
jurisdiction, authority, rank, or title of the bishop of 
Rome, Fifthly, Those brethren holding, or hereafter 
promoted to commanderies within the realm of England, 
shall, after payment of the first year's revenues into the 
king's treasury, transfer those of the second year to the 
treasury of the Order, for the general maintenance and 
support of the convent ; with the reservation of such 

• Alluded to in chap, ix., under the title of confraria. 


annual tithes as the king retains to himself from all 
the commanderies within his kingdom. Sixthly, That 
every year a chapter of the priory shall be held, in 
which all crimes committed by the fraternity within the 
realm of England shall be examined into and duly 
punished ; and if any of the offending brethren shall 
consider himself aggrieved by the sentence of the 
chapter, he shall appeal either to the vicar of the king, 
or to the conservator of the privileges of the Order of 
St. John, duly appointed by the king. 

A very cursory glance at the clauses contained in this 
document will mark both the subtlety and the rapacity 
of those by whom it was framed. The fourth clause 
was, of itself, amply sufficient to prevent any member 
of the Roman Catholic religion from holding office or 
emolument within the kingdom of England; but, as 
though the monarch feared lest the members of the 
Order might be possessed of consciences sufficiently 
elastic to enable them to take the oath there demanded, 
he secures for himself an ample provision out of the 
revenues of the unfortunate commanderies, payment of 
which would be enforced even from the most compliant 
and obedient of the fraternity. Had the Order of St. 
John been in the habit of paying to the See of Rome 
any annual tithes or other contributions, it would have 
appeared only natural that the king of England, in 
assuming to himself the papal functions within his 
realm, should also have transferred to his own treasury 
all such tithes and contributions ; but this had never 
been the case. From the earliest ages of its institution, 
the Order of St. John had been exempted by papal 
grants from the payment of all ecclesiastical tithes and 
contributions ; and this exemption had been continued 

B 2 


and confirmed from time to time, ever since that date. 
Henry, therefore, in reserving to himself the payment 
of tithes from the revenues of the English commanderies, 
was arrogating a privilege such as had never been 
assumed by the pontiffs of Rome, even in their days of 
most dictatorial authority. One of the great sources of 
the revenue of the treasury had always been the pay- 
ment of the first year's income by the successor to a 
vacant comraandery. It was this revenue of which 
Henry contemplated the confiscation to himself; and 
in order to prevent the spoliation from pressing too 
hardly upon the conventual establishment at Malta, he 
substituted for their behoof the pa}Tnent of a second 
year's revenues, to the manifest loss of the newly-ap- 
pointed commanders. 

It is much to the credit of the Order generally, and 
of the English language in particular, that they did not 
permit the natural desire of retaining their large posses- 
sions in England to outweigh their sense of religious 
duty. Hard as were the terms imposed by Henry, they 
were such as many men would have deemed far prefer- 
able to absolute confiscation ; but the Order of St. John 
was not prepared to admit of such a compromise be- 
tween its duty and its interests. It had been reared 
in the bosom of the Church of Rome, it had been 
nurtured by the beneficence and protection of each 
successive pontiff, and now that a storm had burst over 
the head of the father of their church, such as bid fair 
to deprive him of the spiritual allegiance of a vast pro- 
portion of his flock, the Knights of the Hospital were 
not prepared to abandon his cause in this hour of his 
weakness, even for the sake of retaining their worldly 
advantages. The terms offered by Henry were steadily 


declined, and the language of England, which for many 
years had been considered one of the brightest adjuncts 
of the Order, and of whom the historian Bosio, himself 
an Italian, and, therefore, an unprejudiced witness, 
has recorded, " cosi ricco, nobile e principal membro come 
sempre era stata la venerabile lingua d' Inghilterra," was 
lost for ever to the Order of the Hospital. A general 
sequestration of their property in England took place, 
accompanied by much persecution of the members of 
the fraternity. Some perished on the scaffold, others 
lingered in prison, and the remainder, homeless, desti- 
tute, and penniless, found their way to Malta, where 
they were received with all brotherly kindness, and with 
all Christian consideration. 

It has already been stated, that at the commencement 
of his rule, D'Omedes had appointed as admiral of the 
galleys, in place of the commander Botigella, a young 
Florentine Knight, named Leo Strozzi, who had attained 
the dignity of prior of Capua. The father of this Knight, 
having opposed the emperor Charles V., had been by him 
taken prisoner and cast into a dungeon, where he ended 
his life by committing suicide ; prior to which act he 
had invoked his descendants to avenge his fall. In 
answer to this appeal, his son Leo had abandoned the 
service of the Order, and entered that of the king of 
France, under whose banner, as the avowed and constant 
enemy of Charles, he trusted to obtain an opportunity 
of accomplishing his father's denunciations. For m jny 
years he had served in the navy of this monarch with 
the greatest possible distinction, and had been by him 
appointed the admiral of his fleet. Being naturally of 
an imperious and fiery temper, he had in this capacity 
made for himself many powerful enemies in the French 

E 3 


court, and was at length compelled to resign his com- 
mand and leave the kingdom. In this dilemma he 
applied for re-admission into the ranks of the frater- 
nity at Malta, but D'Omedes, who, as a Spaniard, was a 
warm partisan of the emperor Charles, at once peremp- 
torily refused to admit this virulent enemy of his into 
the island. 

Strozzi was therefore compelled to depart unassisted 
and unrecognised. His abandonment of his post in the 
French service had closed to him all the ports of that 
power. His bitter and unceasing antagonism to the 
emperor prevented his finding refuge within any of his 
maritime ports ; and now that his last hope of a shelter 
in Malta had been frustrated, he was driven to cruise in 
the Mediterranean, without any means of refitting his 
galleys. Under these circumstances he was, in a mea- 
sure, driven to acts of piracy in self-support ; and for 
some time he became the scourge of the Mediterranean, 
under the peculiar title, assumed by himself, of the 
Friend of God alone. Charles, who was too crafty and 
consummate a politician ever to permit his private re- 
sentments to interfere with his interests, now that he 
beheld this able captain at enmity with his former pro- 
tector, the king of France, at once opened negotiations 
with him, in the hopes of inducing him to enter his own 
service. It is doubtful whether Strozzi, whose resent- 
ment against the emperor for the incarceration of 
his father appears never to have subsided, seriously 
contemplated the acceptance of this off\jr;.but he 
nevertheless permitted the negotiation to be carried on, 
as during its progress he was freed from all inimical 
efforts on the part of the emperor. 

His gallant conduct during a series of the most 


brilliant exploits, had raised for him a host of influential 
friends amongst the fiery spirits who composed the ranks 
of the fraternity at Malta. From some of these he re- 
ceived an invitation, whilst his negotiations with the 
emperor were pending, to present himself once more in 
their island, pledging themselves that he should not 
again receive such an inhospitable rebuff as that which 
he had experienced on a former occasion. Strozzi, whose 
great desire at this time was to enter once more the 
ranks of the fraternity, in which he trusted, from his 
high renown and great interest, one day to attain the 
supreme dignity, immediately accepted this invita- 
tion, and presented himself off the harbour of Malta 
without delay. The Grand- Master, who had been made 
acquainted with the overtures of Charles to the Floren- 
tine, and who also knew how warmly the latter was 
respected by the majority of his Order, no longer re- 
fused him an admission into the fraternity, but wel- 
comed him to its ranks with every possible honour. 
Strozzi now brought those vast talents with which 
nature had endowed him to the benefit of the Order 
which had once again received him, and by his judicious 
counsels and suggestions rendered them tlie greatest 
possible assistance. 

In conjunction with two other Knights, he was ap- 
pointed to inspect and report upon the state of the 
fortifications of Malta, and to suggest such additions as 
might be considered necessary for the complete security 
of the island. These commissioners reported that al- 
though the Bourg was inclosed by a rampart and ditch, 
and was, moreover, protected by Fort St. Angelo, it was 
nevertheless commanded by the rocky eminence called 
Mount St. Julian, at the extremity of the point of land 


which ran parallel to that on which Fort St. Angelo was 
placed. They, therefore, strongly urged the necessity 
of establishing a fort upon this promontory, of sufficient 
capacity to hold a garrison whose numbers should ena- 
ble them to maintain the post with vigour and resolu- 
tion. Mount Sceberras also required occupation, in 
order to protect the Marsa Musceit, and to prevent an 
enemy from making use of that commodious harbour, in 
case he laid formal siege to the Bourg. Their recom- 
mendations on this head extended to the occupation of 
the entire peninsula ; but the funds of the Order did not 
admit of so extensive a work. Forts were, however, 
erected ; one on the extremity of this promontory, and 
the other on that of Mount St. 'Julian. These forts 
received the names of St. Elmo and St. Michael, in 
memory of those formerly erected by the Order at 
Khodes. These works were prosecuted with the most 
exemplary vigour ; many of the more wealthy members 
of the fraternity contributing largely from their private 
means, to promote the rapid carrying on of the works. 
Strozzi and his brother commissioners were constantly on 
the ground, directing and encouraging the workmen ; so 
that in an incredibly short space of time the inhabitants 
were gladdened at perceiving two powerful fortresses 
arising on sites which had hitherto been totally unpro- 
tected, and which would have afforded the greatest 
possible facilities to an enemy whilst besieging the 

The last event of importance which marked the 
rule of D'Omedes, was the unsuccessful attack upon 
Zoara, made by the Knights under the command of 
Strozzi. This ill-fated expedition ended in the loss of 
almost the entire force composing it : Strozzi himself. 



througli the valour of a Mojorcan Kriight, named Tor- 
cillas, having narrowly escaped being taken prisoner by 
the enemy. 

D'Omeides died upon the 6th September 1553, at the 
advanced age of ninety years. It has already been 
stated that the French historians have omitted nothing 
calculated to blacken the memory of this Grand-Master. 
The vices of avarice and favouritism are those which they 
principally bring to bear against him, and to these they 
likewise add that of general incapacity. That the French 
languages, long accustomed to "Snding the supreme ruler 
elected from amongst their ranks, had felt it a grievance 
that this monopoly should be broken through, was but 
natural. It was also to be expected, that the Spanish 
language, suddenly brought into pre-eminence, and sup- 
ported by the influence which the power of the emperor 
Charles naturally gave them, should assume somewhat 
upon their new position, and should arrogate to them- 
selves many of those good things which they had never 
before had the power of obtaining. Parsimony was 
doubtless a vice of D'Omedes, nor can he be acquitted 
of nepotism ; still he was in neither particular worse 
than many of his predecessors, nor would he, under any 
other circumstances tlian those in which he chanced to 
be placed, have become the victim of that opprobrium 
with which his name has been noted. It was a fact, of 
which his enemies have made the most, that his rule 
was very disastrous for the fortunes of his Order ; in 
most instances, however, from circumstances over which 
he had no control. It was under him that the futile 
and disastrous attacks were made upon Algiers and 
Zoara ; that the city of Tripoli was lost to the Order ; 
and that the island of Gozo was ravaged by the Turks. 


The loss of the English language also occurred in his 
time ; and for one and all of these mischances he has 
been virulently and unjustly. blamed by his enemies. 
During his later years, his extreme age rendered him 
personally almost irresponsible for the acts of his govern- 
ment, and the Grand-Master, who sank into the tomb a 
dotard of ninety years of age, was a very diflferent man 
from the hero who had so bravely held the post of Spain 
against the utmost efforts of the Infidel at the siege of 
Rhodes, and who had lost an eye during that struggle. 

The general feeling at the death of D'Omedes was 
that Strozzi, the prior of Capua, should be his successor ; 
but it having been pointed out to the council that he 
would in all probability use the power thus intrusted 
to him in furtherance of his private quarrel with the 
family of Medici, against whom he bore an undying 
hatred worthy of a Corsican vendetta^ the choice ulti- 
mately fell upon the grand-hospitaller Claude de la 
Sangle, who was at that time acting as ambassador at 
Rome. This nomination, so contrary to his anticipa- 
tions and wishes, gave dire offence to Strozzi, who there- 
upon resigned his command over the galleys of the 
Order, and set sail upon a private adventure of his own, 
followed by many youthful Knights who were anxious 
to earn renown under so distinguished a leader. These 
anticipations were, however, never realised, since Strozzi 
lost his life almost immediately afterwards, before an 
insignificant fort on the coast of Tuscany. His successor 
in the command of the galleys was La Valette, under 
whose able generalship they attained a renown far sur- 
passing what had been previously achieved by them on 
the waters of the Mediterranean. 

During the first year of La Sangle's rule, an evanes- 


cent prospect sprang up of the restoration of the English 
language to its former status. The death of the youthful 
Edward VI. having placed his sister Mary upon the 
throne of England, that princess, who was a zealous and 
rigid Roman Catholic, had no sooner assumed the sway 
of the realm, than she despatched ambassadors to Malta, 
to treat for the re-establishment of the English language, 
and the restoration of the sequestered lands of the Hos- 
pital. To this proposition the cx)uncil of La Sangle 
gave a prompt and joyful assent, and for a few brief 
years it appeared as though that venerable language was 
about to resume its former rank. But this was not to 
be the case, for, upon the death of Mary, her sister 
Elizabeth once more destroyed its organisation, and not 
content with sequestrating its property, as her father 
Henry had done, she confiscated it entirely, and thus 
annihilated the language for ever. 

The successful forays which the Maltese galleys suc- 
ceeded in executing under the able command of La 
Valette, so far enriched the public coffers, that La Sangle 
determined to increase the fortifications erected by his 
predecessor. Both at St. Elmo and at the Bourg con- 
siderable additions were made, but his main efforts 
were directed to the strengthening of the peninsula of 
St. Julian. D'Omedes had, it is true, erected at its ex- 
tremity a fort which had received the name of St. Michael, 
but this was of no great strength, and the entire penin- 
sula was much exposed from the neighbouring height 
of Corradino. Along the whole extent of the promon- 
tory facing these heights he constructed a rampart, 
strengthened by bastions, and also enclosed its neck in 
a similar manner. These works were carried out prin- 
cipally at his own expense, and the fraternity, in grate- 


ful comraemoration of the fact, named the entire en- 
ceinte thus formed after their public-spirited chief ; and 
from that time the promontory has always been known 
by the name of Isle de la Sangle, since Italianised into 

The prospects of the island were every day improving : 
their maritime successes not only enriched their trea- 
sury, but added so considerably to their already widely- 
spread renown, that their ranks became rapidly recruited 
by scions of many of the noblest families in Europe. In 
the midst of this prosperity, however, a calamity occurred 
which, but for the promptitude of the fraternity, and 
the generous assistance of its friends, might have proved 
irreparable. The island of Malta was visited by a furious 
tornado on the 23rd September 1555: the violence of 
this hurricane was such, that vast numbers of the houses 
were overthrown, almost all the vessels in the harbour 
were sunk at their anchorage, and most of the galley- 
slaves who formed their crews were drowned. The 
utmost efforts were necessary promptly to restore the 
lost fleet; and, fortunately for the Order, it found 
friends both within and without the pale of its own 
ranks to aid it in this emergency. Philip the Second 
instantly despatched two galleys, well armed, and fully 
manned and equipped, as a present to his proteg^. 
The Grand-Master, at his own expense, caused another 
to be constructed at Messina, and the Pope, not to be 
behind-hand in the good work, furnished its crew from 
amongst his own galley-slaves. The prior of St. Gilles 
forwarded a gaUeon, laden with ammunition and troops, 
to the aid of the impoverished island ; and the grand- 
prior of France proceeded thither in person, with two 
galleySi to tender his services to the Grand-Master. 


The result of these patriotic efforts proved that they 
had not been unnecessary, for the corsair Dragut, trust- 
ing to find the island in a defenceless state after its 
recent calamity, made a descent upon it, and even 
attempted a landing. He was, however, repelled with 
the utmost promptitude, and with great loss, and the 
prior of France, in command of the newly-restored 
fleet, carried the war into the enemy's country by 
ravaging the coasts of Barbary, in which operation he 
accumulated a vast quantity of spoil, and returned in 
triumph to Malta. 

La Sangle died on the 17th August 1557, and was 
succeeded by John Parisot de la Valette, who during 
the last year of his predecessor's rule had filled the post 
of lieutenant of the Grand-Master, holding at the same 
time the office, of prior of St. Gilles. His name of 
Parisot was derived from his father's fief, which was so 
called, but he has become far better known to posterity 
by the family name of Valette, which his noble deeds 
have rendered so illustrious ; he was born in the year 
1494, of a noble family of Quercy, and had entered the 
Order at the early age of twenty. He had been present 
at the siege of Rhodes, and had followed the fortunes of 
his Order through their various wanderings after the 
loss of that island, until they became permanently settled 
in Malta. Indeed, it is recorded of this hero, that from 
the day of his first profession to that of his attaining 
the highest dignity, he never once left his convent, ex- 
cept when cruising against the Infidel. His successes 
as a naval captain had soon raised him above his com- 
peers, and he had, by his own unaided merits, elevated 
himself step by step to the post he was now called upon 
so worthily to fill. 


He had, upon one occasion, in an encounter with a 
Turkish corsair named Abda Racman, been made pri- 
soner, and during his captivity had suffered great 
hardships, and many indignities, at the hands of his 
victor ; he had, however, been speedily ransomed from 
durance vile, and was shortly afterwards appointed, as 
we have already seen, governor of Tripoli, at a time 
when no one else would accept the post. After his re- 
call from thence, he attained successively to the digni- 
ties of bailiff of Lango, grand-cross of the Order, grand- 
prior of St. Gilles, and chief admiral of the fleet. It 
was whilst in this latter capacity that he succeeded in 
capturing the galley commanded by Abda Racman, who 
thus in his turn became the prisoner of his former cap- 
tive. On the arrival of the grand-prior of France, after 
the hurricane of 1555, LaValette resigned to him the 
post of admiral of the fleet, and the Grand-Master, La 
Sangle, touched by this disinterested act on his part, 
nominated him his lieutenant, an office which he held 
until he attained the dignity, vacant by the death of 
his chief, on the 1st August 1557. 

His first efforts on assuming the magisterial baton 
were directed towards recalling the commanders of the 
Bohemian and Venetian priories to that allegiance which 
for many years they had abandoned. In this he was 
so successful, that a deputation was despatched to 
Malta from the i^cusant priories, praying to be once 
more received into the bosom of the fraternity, and 
pledging themselves to the faithful payment of their 
annual responsions for the future. By this wise and 
politic measure the influence and stability of the Order 
were greatly increased, and its revenues considerably 
augmented, at a time when the pressure of events 


appeared to forebode a great drain upon both. La Yalette 
also reversed the sentence which had been passed upon 
the Marshal La Vallier for the loss of Tripoli. His dis- 
criminating judgment had from the first perceived that 
this unfortunate Knight had been sacrificed as a victim 
to still the popular clamour, excited by the loss of that 
fortress, and to divert it from a still higher point. The 
Grand-Master, La Sangle, had so far recognised the in- 
justice of the original sentence as to release the un- 
fortunate prisoner from the close confinement in which 
he had been kept by D'Omcdes, but it was left for La 
Valette completely to wipe away the stain upon his 
honour, and by restoring to him the habit of which he 
had been stripped, publicly to proclaim his total inno- 
cence of the crime laid to his charge, and the injustice 
of the sentence which had been inflicted on him. 

The viceroy of Sicily, acting under the directions 
of Philip IL, who had lately succeeded to the imperial 
throne, vacant by the abdication of his father Charles 
v., was preparing an expedition for the recovery of 
Tripoli, the importance of which for the protection of 
Sicily and Spain had become more than ever apparent 
since its capture by the Turks. A strong contingent 
from the Order of Malta joined this force, numbering 
upwards of 2000 fighting men, of whom 400 were 
Knights, under the command of De Tessieres, the 
new admiral of the fleet. The viceroy of Sicily, who 
commanded the expedition, caused its utter failure 
through his own presumptuous obstinacy and inordinate 
vanity. Instead of directing his first attack against 
the fortress of Tripoli, as had been originally agreed 
upon, he captured the little island of Galves, upon 
which he commenced the construction of a fortress to 


bear his own name. The delay thus created proved 
utterly fatal. Disease spread rapidly amongst his 
forces, and the Knights perceiving the futility of the 
entire operation, by the direction of La Valette, sepa- 
rated themselves from the vicerov and returned to 
Malta. Heedless of all warnings, the duke persisted 
in remaining within his new acquisition, where he was 
surprised by a powerful Turkish squadron, and with 
difficulty escaped the capture which awaited the rem- 
nants of his force. No less than fourteen large ships 
and twenty-eight galleys, the flower of the Spanish 
fleet, were captured upon this occasion and carried 
away by Dragut to Constantinople, and it is com- 
puted that 14,000 men perished in this unfortunate 

The exultation of the Barbary Moors at their success 
knew no bounds ; indeed, it seemed as though of late 
years the Cross had been fated always to suffer humili- 
ation at the hands of the Crescent; but the tide of 
fortune was about to turn, and the Turks were doomed 
on their side soon to suffer defeat from their hitherto 
unsuccessful antagonists. Encouraged by the losses 
the Spaniards had sustained in their late expedition 
against Tripoli, as also in a fearful storm which, in 
1562, overtook a squadron of twenty-four galleys whilst 
bearing supplies to the Spanish colonies in Africa, and 
in which nearly the whole fleet and 4,000 men were 
lost, the Algerines determined on making a bold effbrt 
to sweep the Christians entirely from the coast of 
Africa. Since the loss of Tripoli the principal posses- 
sions of the latter in that quarter were the fortresses 
of Oran and Mazarquiver, and it was against these 
strongholds that the first efforts of the Infidels were 


directed. On the 15th March 1563, Hassan, the 
Algerine chief, commenced his march against Mazar- 
quiver, detaching a small portion of his army for the 
investment of the neighbouring fortress of Oran. For 
nearly three months the siege was maintained with the 
utmost vigour, and the assaults delivered by the Al- 
gerines were both frequent and desperate. The governor 
of Mazarquiver, Don Martin de Cordova, was a man 
equal to the emergency in which he was placed, and 
the resistance offered by him to his assailants was so 
successful, that when, on the 8th June, a relieving force 
despatched by Philip II. hove in sight, the place was 
still in his possession. Great were the rejoicings of the 
Christians at this success, and the tidings of the repulse 
which the Moslems had experienced spread a feeling 
of exultation throughout the maritime provinces of 
Southern Europe to which they had long been strangers. 
Philip was not slow in following up this success and 
carrying the war into the enemy's country. He Avrested 
several important acquisitions from the hands of his 
discomfited antagonist. Under these adverse circum- 
stances the Moors appealed loudly to the Turkish sultan 
for assistance, and as the Knights of St. John had, 
according to their wont, taken a foremost part in every 
attack against the Infidel, they were pointed out as the 
most fit objects against whom that monarch should 
wreak his vengeance. At this crisis an event occurred 
which, though apparently insignificant in itself, sufficed 
to fill to overflowing the sultan's cup of wrath. The 
Maltese galleys, after a desperate struggle, succeeded in 
capturing in the waters of the Levant a Turkish galleon, 
armed with twenty guns and manned by 200 janissaries. 
This galleon was the property of the chief eunuch of 




the imperial harem, and several of its fair inmates pos- 
sesseil shares in the valuable cargo, which Spanish 
historians have estimated at more than 80^000 ducats. 
A cry of vengeance speedily arose within the walls of the 
harem, and all the influence of the imperial odalisques 
was exerted to obtain reparation for the injury they 
had sustained. 

The ire of Solyman was now fairly roused, and he 
determined, as a fitting close to that long and glorious 
reign which had earned for him the title of the Mag- 
nificent, to drive the Knights of St. John from the 
island of Malta, as he had marked its commencement 
by their expulsion from that of Rhodes. His pre- 
parations for this purpose were made upon a most for- 
midable scale, and the attention of Europe was speedily 
drawn to the vast armament assembling in the port and 
arsenal of Constantinople. The uncertainty as to its ul- 
timate destination filled the maritime provinces of the 
Mediterranean with alarm, and on every side prepara- 
tions were made for defence in case of need. 

La Valette, who, in accordance with the practice of 
his predecessors, always maintained spies within the 
iiDperial city of Constantinople, was not long in learn- 
ing that Malta was the point of attack for which all 
these preparations had been made. He instantly de- 
Hpatched emissaries to the leading potentates of Europe 
to crave assistance ; but, with the exception of the 
Pope, who contributed 10,000 crowns, and Philip, 
who despatched a small body of troops, these appeals 
w(;re unavailing. La Valette soon perceived that it was 
to his own Order alone that he would have to trust for 
the defence of his island ; still, undeterred by the luke- 
wunnness of his friends, he promptly set himself to 


resist the storm as best he might. His call to the mem- 
bers of the fraternity resident in their European com- 
manderies was responded to with the most noble 
enthusiasm. Knights from every quarter flocked to 
Malta ; contributions poured in from all sides ; and 
those who from age and infirmity were unable personally 
to take part in the struggle which was impending, freely 
lavished their wealth in support of the good cause. 

Every device which the exigency of the case and 
the shortness of the time permitted Avas adopted to 
strengthen the defences of the island. The militia was 
organised and drilled, and soon afforded a very effective 
body of Maltese soldiery amounting to upwards of 3000 
men. Five hundred galley-slaves were released from their 
thraldom under the pledge of faithful service during the 
coming siege ; and the Spanish and Italian troops which 
had been taken into the pay of the Order completed the 
strength of the garrison. The Sicilian viceroy, Don 
Garcia de Toledo, was despatched to Malta by Philip 
to concert with La Valette a project of mutual defence 
and assistance, and from this dignitary the Grand-Master 
received the most faithful pledges of assistance so soon 
as his forces had been collected. He left his natural 
son in the island, under the charge of La Valette, that 
he might flesh his maiden sword in the coming war 
and gain his earliest renown under the Avhite-cross 

The chivalric heart of the Grand-Master glowed with 
satisfaction at the enthusiastic eafijerness with which the 
flower of his knighthood flocked to his banner in the 
hour of danger ; and assembling them all in solemn 
conclave, he called upon them in that fervent language 
with which true earnestness ever clothes itself, to stand 

F 2 


firm by the good cause they had adopted, and to main* 
tain the battle of the Cross against the Crescent to the 
last drop of their blood. They had voluntarily devoted 
themselves to the defence of their religion, and if 
Heaven now called for the sacrifice of their lives it was 
equally their duty and their privilege cheerfully to lay 
them down in its sacred cause. At the close of his 
harangue he led the way to the chapel of the con- 
vent, where, after confessing themselves of their sins, 
they solemnly partook of the holy sacrament, and 
once more pledged themselves to defend their church 
and their convent-home against the aggressions of the 

Although the lapse of upwards of four centuries had 
done much towards weakening the high tone of devotion 
which had characterised the first founders of their 
Order, and though, in the ordinary current of their 
existence, they now displayed but little of that religious 
fervour which had carried them through so many des- 
perate struggles on the burning sands of Palestine, still 
it needed but a call like this once more to awaken within 
their bosoms the slumbering spirit of their predecessors. 
As the band of noble warriors stood around their aofed 
and venerable chief, shriven of their sins, and their hearts 
glowing with Christian zeal, it needed scarcely any 
stretch of imagination to have pictured them part of 
that gallant fraternity who, through two centuries, had 
maintained the cause of Christianity against overpower- 
ing odds, and every possible disadvantage, on the shores 
of Syria. The remembrance of many a deadly struggle 
was warm within their hearts. The battle was once 
more to be renewed which had been so often fought 


before. The spectacle which had been witnessed at 
Jerusalem, at Acre, and at Rhodes, Avas again about to 
be enacted ; and the warrior, as he grasped his trusty 
falchion, remembered that many a hard-fought field, 
and many a slaughtered brother, called to him for 

r 3 








A GENERAL revdew of the forces with which La Valette 
was preparing to resist the attack of the Turks, showed 
them to amount to rather better than 9000 men ; of 
whom 474 were Knights, and sixty-seven servants-at- 
arms. At a subsequent period, however, this number 
was augmented by nearly a hundred, from the arrival of 
such Knights as had been unable to reach Malta before 
the commencement of the siege, and who had, conse- 
quently, rendezvoused at Messina, until opportunities 
presented themselves for obtaining an ingress into the 
beleaguered fortress. 

A general description of the configuration of the 
ground, forming the two great ports of Malta, has been 
already given ; but it would be well, before entering 
into a detail of the memorable siege now impending, to 
describe more particularly the means of defence Avith 
which the Knights had, during a period of thirty-five 
years, found means to provide themselves. The castle 
of St. Angelo, situated on the most northerly of the 
promontories which subdivide the great harbour on its 
eastern side, occupied only its extremity, and was cut 


off from the mainland, upon which the Bourg was 
situated, by means of a wet ditch. In addition to the 
castle itself, which rose to a considerable height, and 
presented two tiers of batteries to the entrance of tlie 
harbour, the fort was surrounded by an enceinte of an 
irregular form, containing four bastions connected by 
curtains; in two cases, these latter being broken by 
flanks into an indented form. The Bourg itself, which 
occupied the greater portion of the remainder of the 
peninsula, was protected on the land side by a line of 
ramparts, broken into two complete bastions near the 
centre, and forming two demi-bastions at the extre- 
mities. This work had been strengthened by a ditch 
of considerable breadth and depth, but was not protected 
by any ravelin, or other outwork. On its northern side, 
facing the entrance to the harbour, it was enclosed by a 
bastioned rampart, extending the whole way to the ditch 
of St. Angelo ; but on the western side, which looked 
towards Senglea, its rampart was a mere curtain, without 
any flank protection whatever. The three French lan- 
guages undertook the defence of that portion of the 
Bourg which faced the land, then considered by far 
the most vulnerable. The Germans garrisoned the sea 
face from St. Angelo to the corner where it joined the 
land front, at which point the Knights of Castile were 
stationed. This post of Castile became, during the lat- 
ter portion of the siege, one of the main points of attack. 
The Spanish language was distributed over the cur- 
tain facing Senglea, at the base of which the wharves 
extended which were used as points of debarkation for 
the inhabitants of the Bourg. Five hundred men, 
and fifty Knights, constituted the garrison of Fort St. 

r 4 


Angelo ; and here, as the most vital point, and the citadel 
of the whole position, La Valette took up his abode. 

The promontory, commonly, but erroneously called 
the island of Senglea, was protected by a very respectable 
sea front at its extremity, broken into four bastions. 
The remainder of its enceinte was an irregular figure, 
little more than an indented parapet. It was garrisoned 
on its land side by the language of Aragon, the remainder 
being occupied by that of Italy, under the command of 
its chief, the Admiral de Monte. The extremity of 
Mount Sceberras, which protected the entrance of both 
harbours, was occupied by a star fort of four angles ; 
to the seaward of which was a cavalier, dominating over 
the work ; and covering the left angle of the enclosure 
was a ravelin, a small outwork connected with the main 
fort by a bridge. The usual garrison for this post, 
the dimensions of which were very contracted, only 
amounted to sixty soldiers, who had hitherto been under 
the command of a Knight named De Broglio. The 
Grand-Master in this crisis augmented their numbera 
by two companies of his foreign troops, under the com- 
mand of a Spanish Knight named La Cerda, and also 
by sixty Knights, under the bailiff of Negropont, whose 
name was Eguaras. Broglio, the original governor of 
St. Elmo, was a man whose great age rendered him un- 
suited for the post at a time of such extreme emergency. 
Still, it would have appeared an ungracious act on the 
part of La Valette, and one which the distinguished 
and lengthened services of De Broglio rendered him un- 
willing to adopt, to supersede him from his command, 
the bailiff of Negropont had therefore been selected, as a 
more active, and though himself by no means youthful, 
a less aged commander ; who, under the ambiguous title 


of captain of succours, would be enabled to supply to 
the garrison those qualifications in which the Grand- 
Master feared that the governor might prove deficient. 

Such was the distribution which La Valette adopted 
in order to make the most of the slender force at his 
disposal ; and whilst thus careful for the protection of 
his convent, he did not neglect the Citta Notabile, or 
the island of Gozo. He had been strenuously advised 
to abandon every outpost, and to concentrate all his 
efforts on the defence of the two harbours ; but his own 
views were very different. Trusting, as he did, for ulti- 
mate success almost entirely to the arrival of supports 
from Sicily, he desired to prolong his means of defence 
as far as possible- If, therefore, the enemy commenced 
operations by an attack upon either of these points, the 
delay which a spirited defence would produce, might be 
of inestimable advantage; and he decided, therefore, 
instead of abandoning them, to reinforce their garrisons, 
and place them under the command of men whom he 
could trust to hold them to the last extremity. 

The Commander Romegas, then one of the most 
daring naval captains whom the Order possessed, under 
took the defence of the entrance to the port of the 
galleys- This harbour was the portion of water en- 
closed between the two promontories of the Bourg and 
of Senglea ; and here all the galleys in the possession 
of the Order were drawn up at anchor. Its entrance 
was further protected by a huge chain, which extended 
from the foot of the castle of St. Angelo to the ex- 
tremity of the island of Senglea. 

These preparations having all been made. La Valette 
calmly awaited the approach of his antagonists, which 
his perfect system of espial had led him to know was 

74 A HiSTORT or 

not far d»tant. At length, on the morning of tbe 18th 
Maj 1 565r a signal gan, booming from the c^sde of St 
AngelOf and answered from the cayalier of Si. Efano^ 
and the fort of St. Michael, announced to the inhabitants 
of Malta that the foe was in sight. At this ogoal, the 
realisation of all their worst fears, those who hjMl not 
preyionsly abandoned their homesteads flocked other 
into the Bonrg or into the Citta Notabile, well aware 
that if they were surprised in the open countiy by the 
relentless enemy their doom would be slavery if not 

The Turkish fleet consisted of a hundred and thirty 
galleys, fifty vessels of smaller size, together with a 
number of transports, laden with the battering train 
and military stores of the army. The military force 
embarked on board this fleet consisted of 30,000 men, 
of whom about five thousand were janissaries.* It may 

* Jjf, ntirattker passa la revae de ses troupes a Modon. Elles so 
c^;mpoiiaient de sept inille sipahis de TAsie Mioeore, commandos par 
un sandjak et deux alaibegs, de cioq cents sipahis de Karamanie et 
de cinq cents autres de Mitjlene, de quatre mille cinq cents janis- 
ntLiran, de treize mille hommcs de troupes irr^gulieres, et de douze cents 
sifyahii et trois mille cinq cents hommes de troupes irreguli^res de la 
Jioumilif', sous les ordrcs dc deux sandjaks et d*un alaibeg. La flotte 
fiinh forte de cent quatre-vingt une voiles, savoir : cent trente galores, 
huit mahones, trois kara-moursals onze grands vaisseaux, dont I'un 
ftvait h hord six cents sipahis, six mille barils de poudre, treize mille 
boulets, et p/;rit corps et biens k Modon ; dix gnleres sous les ordres 
du Mcplnag^'^naire Ali-Portouk commandant de la station de Rhodes ; 
d(Mix gaUfri*s de Mitylbne conduites par Salih fils dn dernier beglerbeg 
d' Alger, et dix-scpt galores de moindre grandeur appel6es fastes. 
Hdlaiiiki donno r(*tat suivant do Tartillcrie que la flotte amena avec 
I'Ue ; vingt picccH du calibre dc 50, cent vingt faucons, fauconneaux 
vi couleuvrinos, cinq morticrs (hawayi top), vingt mille quintaux de 
poudri*, (innranto millo boulcts, dix mille pelles et pioches, etcinquante 


be well, before going further, to 8ay a few words upon 
the subject of this redoubtable force, for so many years 
the chief bulwark of the Turkish empire. Once in 
every five years a general conscription was levied upon 
the children of all Christians resident within the empire 
who had attained the age of seven years. Such as dis- 
played any pre-eminence, either in mind or body, were 
carried away to Constantinople, and from that moment 
might be considered as lost to their parents. Those 
amongst this troop of children who presented the greatest 
prospect of athletic power, and ample bodily develop- 
ment in after life, were chosen for the corps of janis- 
saries, and were trained most carefully for that purpose. 
Every effort was made, from the moment of their se- 
lection, to endue them with the martial and determined 
spirit which their profession required. Mari'iage was 
strictly forbidden in their ranks ; they had, therefore, 
no family ties to divide their affections with the regi- 
ment to which they belonged. The esprit de corps which 
was thus nourished increased in intensity with their 
age; and all their thoughts being concentrated upon 
their own order, they formed a body of troops upon 
which the strictest reliance could be placed in the most 
desperate emergency, and whose dense battalions had 
rarely been poured upon the foe without the certainty 
of victory waiting upon their arms. Such were the 
men who composed a considerable portion of the force 
which the emperor Solyman had despatched against 

The command of the fleet was intrusted to Piali ; 

chaloupes canonnibres. {Hammer^ Histoire de VEmpire Ottoman, 
traduite par Hellert.) 


the same admiral who had succeeded in overcoming and 
capturing so many Spanish galleys in the late unfortu- 
nate expedition of the Sicilian viceroy. The army was 
placed under the command of Mustapha, a veteran 
general, in whose skill and judgment Solyman justly 
placed the utmost reliance, but who mingled with his 
warlike qualities much natural ferocity and cruelty of 

After some little cruising backwards and forwards, 
the Turks eventually disembarked, partly in the Marsa 
Sirocco, and partly in St. Thomas's bay. A small body 
of Knights had been despatched, under Marshal Coppier, 
to watch the proceedings of the enemy and to inter- 
cept any stragglers who might separate themselves from 
the main body. One of these Knights, named De la 
Riviere, fell into the hands of the Turks, and was 
taken before Mustapha, who questioned him closely as 
to the resources of the place. La Riviere's account 
was not such as to reassure the Ottoman general, since 
he detailed with fond minuteness every preparation 
which had been made for defence, and assured the 
pasha that the garrison was determined to resist his 
aggressions to the utmost, and that they were in daily 
expectation of relief from Europe. Upon this Mus- 
tapha directed that he should be submitted to torture, 
which for some time he bore with the utmost constancy ; 
at length, feigning to be overcome by the torments, he 
declared to the pasha that the post of Castile, which 
was on that side of the Bourg facing the land, was by 
far the most feeble point in the fortifications. Relying 
upon this information, Mustapha advanced towards the 
town, firmly resolved to commence operations by an 
attack on that post ; but, on reaching the summit of 


Mount Calcara, a considerable eminence to the south- 
east of the Bourg, his practised eye perceived at a 
glance that his prisoner had deceived him and, that 
the point indicated, so far from being the most vul- 
nerable spot in the fortifications, was in reality the 
most impregnable. The unfortunate Knight fell a 
victim to his constancy and courage ; for Mustapha, 
irritated beyond measure at the deception which had 
been practised on him, directed him to be put to death, 
which cruel sentence was promptly carried into ex. 

The appearance of the Turkish army in the vicinity 
of the town was the signal for a number of skirmishes, 
which were continually being carried on between their 
advanced posts and small parties of the garrison ; in 
which the latter uniformly gained the advantage, and 
succeeded in inflicting considerable loss upon the enemy. 
La Valette permitted these desultory combats to be 
carried on for a certain length of time, with the view 
of accustoming his troops to the appearance and 
weapons of the foe ; but when this end had been ac- 
complished, he directed them to retire within their 
ramparts, and there patiently to await the onset, well 
knowing that he could but ill spare any of his slender 
force in combats which could lead to no decisive result. 

Counsels were divided in the Turkish camp as to the 
course which should now be pursued. Before leaving 
Constantinople Solyman had enjoined both Mustapha 
and Piali to pay the utmost attention and to give the 
greatest possible weight to the opinions of Dragut, who 
had pledged himself to join the expedition at Malta 
with such resources as were at his command. The cor- 
sair had not yet arrived ; and in his absence Piali was 


of opinion that no steps should be taken beyond in- 
trenching themselves within their camp. Mustapha, on 
the other hand, dreading to lose much valuable time, 
and fearing lest by delaying their operations they might 
give time to a Christian fleet of succour to arrive, urged 
proceeding with the siege at once. He pointed out that 
the fleet lay at present in a very exposed situation, and 
that it would be of the greatest possible advantage if 
they could obtain possession of the Marsa Musceit, 
within which commodious harbour they would find the 
most complete shelter from the easterly winds at that 
time prevalent. For this purpose it would be necessary 
for them to become the masters of Fort St. Elmo, by 
which the entrance to that harbour was commanded, 
and this operation he proposed at once commencing, 
leaving to Dragut the responsibility of deciding, after 
his arrival, as to their future proceedings. These views 
ultimately predominated, and the siege of St. Elmo 
commenced in due form. 

Mount Sceberras being throughout its whole extent 
but a mere rock, covered in many places with but a few 
inches of earth, the Turkish engineers found it impossible 
to open their trenches in the ordinary manner. Gabions, 
fascines, and even earth, had all to be brought from a 
distance, with which a parapet was constructed, and 
behind which that shelter was obtained which in ordinary 
cases would have been gained by excavation. This was 
a task of no little labour; but by dint of perseverance, 
and at the cost of a great sacrifice of life, from the 
galling and incessant fire of the defenders of St. Elmo, 
it was at length accomplished. The siege operations at 
this period appear to have been guided by men totally 
unskilled in the science of war. In order to shelter 


themselves as far as possible from the fire of St. Angelo, 
they kept their trenches on the opposite side of the 
mount, and thereby left the communication between 
that fortress and St. Elmo totally unrestricted. This 
error on their part led to a protracted and bloody siege 
before a fort which should have been captured in a few 

The trenches having at length been completed, a 
battery was constructed to bear against the point of 
attack, and in this several guns of the very largest 
calibre were placed. The line of this battery ran in a 
north-easterly direction, and its range was one hundred 
and eighty yards from the fort. It was armed with ten 
cannon, carrying shot of 80 lbs. each, three columbrines 
for shot of 60 lbs., and a huge basilisk for balls of the 
stupendous weight of 160 lbs. The guns and colum- 
brines were mounted on wheels, but the basilisk required 
a far more complicated machinery to enable it to move 
with sufficient facility for practical purposes, and to 
check its recoil. 

The opening of their fire speedily demonstrated the 
inability of the fort to resist its intensity. The Turks 
in those days made greater use of artillery, and had 
attained a higher proficiency in that branch of warfare, 
than any other nation ; and the guns they used were of 
the most stupendous calibre. Modern science has taught 
us that the unwieldiness of these huge pieces of artillery 
is, except under certain conditions, more than a counter- 
balance for their power; and there can be but little 
doubt that the bringing up and placing in position guns 
of such enormous calibre as those used by the Turks in 
this siege, must have been terrific. Still, when once 
placed in battery, and firing at such short range, 


their power against the masonry of the fort must have 
been very great. The result was not long in showing 
itself. Huge breaches speedily gaped Avithin the walls 
of the ravelin, cavalier, and fort itself; and each suc- 
cessive discharge added still further to the crumbling 
mass of ruin with which the ditch was rapidly becoming 

The slender force which garrisoned the fort, and 
which La Valette had trusted would have sufficed for 
its maintenance, became clearly too few, now that its 
ramparts were so rapidly melting away beneath the 
thunders of the Turkish artillery. Under these circum- 
stances Eguaras despatched an envoy across to the 
Bourg to inform the Grand-Master that he would no 
longer be able to maintain the fort with his present 
garrison. Its numbers, which had been barely sufficient 
for the security of the post even while its ramparts were 
as yet intact, were manifestly insufficient now that huge 
breaches were gaping throughout its enceinte. Further 
reinforcements were, therefore, absolutely necessary, or 
the breaches could not be maintained against the assaults 
of the foe, and it was to demand this assistance that the 
Chevalier de la Cerda was despatched to La Valette. 

A worse selection could scarcely have been made. In 
a garrison where nearly every man was a hero the 
smallest taint of cowardice became doubly apparent; 
and unfortunately for his reputation. La Cerda displayed 
that weakness during the siege of St. Elmo in a manner 
which contrasted his conduct most unfavourably with 
that of his comrades. Exaggerating the injuries which 
the fort had sustained, he pressed most strenuously for 
immediate assistance ; and announced in open council, 
that even under the most favourable circumstances the 


fort could not hold out more than a few days. La 
Valette was justly irritated at this open and unreserved 
exhibition of weakness ; for although in his own mind 
he had felt the most grave misgivings as to the power 
of St. Elmo to maintain itself, he was by no means 
willing to allow such an opinion to be openly promul- 
gated. Turning, therefore, with a frown of displeasure 
towards La Cerda, he demanded in an ironical tone how 
great had been their loss that they had thus soon been 
brought into so desperate a condition. This was a 
difficult question for the unfortunate Knight. He had 
been despatched for succour, not on account of the 
casualties which had befallen the garrison, for these 
indeed had been as yet but few, but because the exposed 
state of the breaches rendered a larger force absolutely 
necessary for their defence. His exaggerated account 
of the desperate and hopeless condition of the fort had 
been a purely voluntary statement on his own part, 
trusting thereby to induce La Valette to withdraw the 
garrison into the Bourg, and so release him from a 
position of peril to which his courage was unequal. 
Unable, therefore, to reply satisfactorily to the query of 
the Grand-Master, he contented himself with renewing 
his request for aid. La Valette then sternly replied, 
" I will myself bring you aid, and if I am not able to 
remove your terrors, at least I trust to succeed in saving 
the fort." It required the most urgent and strenuous 
entreaties on the part of his council, to prevent the 
gallant old chief from making good his statement, and 
leading a body of reinforcements into St. Elmo in person. 
He was at length, though with great difficulty, dissuaded 
from this intention, and contented himself with sending 
two hundred Spanish troops under a Knight of that 



language, named Gonzalis de Medrano, in whose intre- 
pidity and constancy La Valette felt that he could place 
implicit reliance. With these reinforcements, La Cerda 
was once more compelled, sorely against his will, to 
return into the beleaguered fort. 

It was whilst matters were in this position, that the 
corsair Dragut made his appearance at Malta with 
a body of fifteen hundred men, and thirteen galleys. 
Much to Mustapha's mortification, he at once con- 
demned the line of proceedings which that general had 
adopted. In his opinion, and it was that of a man 
whose lengthened experience in war rendered it most 
valuable, the island of Gozo should have been occupied 
in the first instance. The army should then have 
advanced upon Citt^ Notabile, which town should either 
have been retained in their possession, or, if abandoned, 
utterly destroyed. They would then have been enabled 
to advance upon the main point of attack with their 
rear well protected, whilst, on the other hand, the 
Knights would have been cut off from all succour, and 
have been unable to draw in any reinforcements, either 
of men or provisions, from the rest of the island. Now, 
however, that the siege of St. Elmo had been actually 
commenced, he was of opinion that it should be prose- 
cuted with vigour, since it would produce a most dis- 
piriting effect upon the Turkish army to abandon an 
attack which they had once taken in hand. Under 
his directions, a second battery, still more formidable 
than the first, was erected upon one of the most elevated 
points of Mount Sceberras, which could play either upon 
St. Elmo or St. Angelo. He also caused a small bat- 
tery of four guns to be constructed on the point of land 
directly opposite to St. Elmo, and forming with it the 


entrance to the Marsa Musceit* This battery played with 
great effect upon both ravelin and cavalier, and the 
point has in consequence received the name of Point 
Dragut, although the corsair did not, as has very 
generally been supposed, receive his death wound upon 
that spot. Modern science has pointed out the neces- 
sity for the occupation of this point of land, and during 
the rule of a Grand-Master in the last century*, a fort 
with outworks was constructed thereon, which has 
received the name of the Knight who superintended 
its erection, and from whose designs it was traced, 
and is now known as fort Tign6. The point of land 
itself, however, still retains the name which it took 
from the Turkish corsair, whose deeds are so indissolubly 
connected with the siege of Malta. 

Medrano had not long occupied his new post in the 
besieged fort, when he decided on making a sortie, in the 
hope, if possible, of destroying the batteries which were 
playing with so destructive an energy upon the walls of 
the fort. The sortie was in the outset successful ; the 
Turks were driven from their trenches, and a consider- 
able number were slain ; but returning to the fight in 
much greater numbers, they, in their turn, once more 
cleared their trenches of the Knights, who were com- 
pelled to retire within the fort. The smoke arising from 
this combat blew in the direction of St. Elmo, and for 
some time completely obscured the rival forces from each 
other. What was the dismay of the garrison, when it 
cleared away, to perceive that the Turks had, under its 
cover, advanced into and taken possession of the covert 
way at the edge of the counter-scarp. Every gun 

* Emmanuel de Rohan, 1793. 

Q 2 


which could be brought to bear upon the spot instantly 
opened its fire ; but the Turks could not be driven from 
the advantage which they had gained. In an incred- 
ibly short space of time they raised a parapet, behind 
which they obtained cover from the missiles of the 
garrison, and before long this new acquisition was 
connected by a covered communication with the re- 
mainder of their trenches, and thus became an integral 
portion of their attack. • 

On the night of the 3rd of June, some Turkish en- 
gineers were reconnoitring in the ditch, to which from 
their new lodgment they had easy access, when they 
discovered that an entry could, without difficulty, be 
obtained into the ravelin through some of the embra- 
sures. Stealthily clambering into the opening, they 
dauntlessly prosecuted their examination into the in- 
terior of the work itself, and to their astonishment, 
discovered that it was totally unguarded, and apparently 
abandoned. It has never been clearly ascertained to what 
cause this culpable remissness on the part of the garri- 
son can be attributed. The idea of treachery seems 
never for a moment to have been mooted. The garrison 
of St. Elmo has, by its protracted and stubborn defence, 
gained for itself a reputation such as must for ever 
preclude the possibility that the stigma of treachery 
could attach to one of its number. Some assert that 
the sentries, being compelled, owing to the close proxi- 
mity of the foe and the incessant and deadly fire which 
they constantly maintained, to remain in a recumbent 
posture, and being, moreover, utterly exhausted by 
the struggles of the day, fell asleep, and were, in that 
situation, surprised and massacred ; others again state 
that the sentry in the angle, where the besiegers pene- 


tratedy had been killed whilst on his post by a musket- 
ball, and that the casualty had been un perceived by 
the remainder of the guard. Be this as it may, there 
can be no doubt that the most culpable negligence 
existed somewhere, and dearly was that heroic but 
unfortunate garrison made to pay for this want of 
vigilance on their part. 

Mustapha had no sooner been made acquainted with 
the position of affairs within the ravelin, than he told 
off a storming party, consisting of a selected body of 
janissaries, picked from the flower of that redoubted 
corps, and a rush was instantly made into the un- 
protected work. The guard, taken by surprise, offered 
but little resistance, and their leader being slain, fled 
indiscriminately across the drawbridge into the fort. 
But for the heroic efforts of one of the Spanish officers 
of a junior grade, who, standing at the entrance of the 
bridge, withstood almost singly for some moments the 
onset of the foe, and maintained his post like Horatius 
in the Roman story, until support was brought him 
from within, St. Elmo would on that day have fallen 
into the possession of the Moslem. The most powerful 
efforts were made on both sides ; the Knights to retake 
the ravelin, and the Turks to push their advantage yet 
farther. Both were equally unsuccessful: in spite of 
the most desperate sallies made by the garrison, aided 
by the fire of two guns which were brought to bear 
upon the outwork, the Turks maintained their post 
with pertinacious gallantry, and speedily found means 
to cover themselves with a substantial parapet. 

Whilst one body of the assailants was thus, at a 
fearful cost of life, securing the advantage which had 
been obtained, another body, stimulated by the success 

a 3 


which had hitherto attended their efforts, rushed into 
the ditch, and made a most determined effort to carry 
the fort itself by escalade. This was an operation, 
which, however it might have succeeded against meaner 
enemies, was mere madness when attempted against a 
garrison, such as that which still maintained fort 
St. Elmo. Their ladders, moreover, were too sliort to 
reach to the top of the parapet, yet still they struggled 
on with the most pertinacious obstinacy and the most 
invincible resolution to obtain an entrance. Ever and 
anon a Moslem, more daring and more agile than his 
fellows, would obtain a momentary footing upon the 
parapet ; but ere he had time to assist his comrades, or 
obtain support, he was hurled headlong into the ditch, 
and paid with his life the penalty of his rashness. 
Boiling pitch and wildfire streamed upon the struggling 
foe congregated within the ditch. Huge rocks were 
hurled upon their devoted ranks, and all the savage 
ferocity of warfare found an unrestrained development 
on that eventful morning. The castle of St. Angelo 
was thronged with anxious spectators, eagerly straining 
their eyes to discover the issue of the deadly strife. 
Amid the roar of artillery, the volleys of arquebuses, 
the screams, shouts, and yells in different languages, 
and all the fearful din and clamour of the assault, 
little could be distinguished to mark how turned the 
tide of battle. A dense canopy of smoke hung over 
the devoted fortress, rent at intervals by the flash of 
artillery or the sharp intermittent crash of musketry, 
and it was not until the sun had commenced to decline 
towards the west that they discovered how matters had 
fared with their comrades within the fort. The Turkish 
banner was then perceived waving upon the captured 


ravelin ; whilst, on the other hand, the white cross 
banner of their Order still floated in proud defiance 
upon the fort and cavalier. 

Finding all their efforts at accomplishing the capture 
of the fort unavailing, a retreat was sounded, and the 
Turks sullenly returned to their intrenchments. The 
gain of the ravelin, however, was an immense advantage 
to the besiegers; and though the success of the day 
was purchased at the cost of 2000 men, still Mustapha 
had good cause to congratulate himself upon its issue, 
in the advantages which he had achieved. The loss of 
the garrison did not amount to 100; but of these, 
twenty were Knights, whose scanty numbers could 
ill afford so large a sacrifice. A touching incident 
of devotion is related in connection with this day's 
struggle. During the heat of the fight, a French 
Knight was struck by a bullet in his chest and mortally 
wounded : one of the brethren turned to assist him in 
leaving the scene of strife, but the Knight, over whose 
dim vision the shades of death were fast stealing, refused 
to receive the proffered aid, and alleging that he was no 
longer to be considered as among the living, crawled 
unaided from the spot. At the close of the fight his 
body was discovered in front of the altar in the chapel 
of St. Elmo, whither he had dragged himself, to breathe 
his last before the image of the Virgin. 

As soon as the shades of evening admitted of such 
an operation, La Yalette despatched his boats from the 
Bourg to remove the wounded, with whom the little 
garrison were hampered, and to replace them by a 
reinforcement from St. Angelo. Amongst those who 
were thus despatched to share the fortunes of their 
heroic brethren at St. Elmo, was the Chevalier de 

Q 4 


Miranda, who had recently arrived at the Bourg from 

During one of the first days of the siege, whilst the 
trenches were in course of formation, the Turkish 
admiral, Piali, had been struck by a fragment of rock 
splintered by a shot from the fort. The wound, though 
not mortal, was sufficiently severe to spread consterna- 
tion amongst the besiegers, and La Valette, taking ad- 
vantage of the confusion which ensued when the intelli- 
gence of this calamity was spread abroad, succeeded in 
despatching an envoy to Sicily to urge the viceroy to 
forward instant succours. The envoy returned with a 
pledge from the viceroy that he would arrive at Malta 
in the middle of June, provided La Valette would send 
him such of the Order's galleys as were then cooped up 
in compulsory idleness within the great harbour. It 
: was with the bearer of this message that Miranda ar- 
rived at Malta, and instantly volunteered his services to 
proceed into the beleaguered fort. La Valette felt 
deeply disappointed at the condition upon which the 
viceroy based his proficrs of aid. In order to des- 
patch the galleys which were thus demanded it would 
be necessary not only to man them with galley slaves, 
whose services at that moment were most urgently re- 
quired within the fortress, but also to accompany them 
by a guard from his garrison, to prevent a mutiny on 
board, which the proximity of the Turkish fleet would 
otherwise have rendered inevitable. This diminution 
of his already too feeble garrison could not for one mo- 
ment be thought of; and La Valette once again appealed 
to the viceroy for unconditional assistance. 

Meanwhile he spared no eflPbrt to prolong the defence 
of St. Elmo ; fresh troops were every night forwarded 


thither to replace those whose wounds had rendered 
them incapable of aiding further in the defence, 
and who were, therefore, withdrawn into the Bourg 
for medical treatment at the hospital. D'Eguaras and 
De Broglio had both been severely wounded in the last 
assault, and La Yalette had directed their immediate 
return to the convent, but these brave knights both stur- 
dily refused to abandon their posts. D'Eguaras, indeed, 
sent a message to the Grand-Master stating that he was 
perfectly willing to resign his command into the hands 
of any Knight who might be considered better qualified 
for the post, but he craved permission to remain where 
he was, even though in the humblest capacity, and to 
share the fate of those gallant comrades over whom he 
had been placed. Far diflferent was the conduct of the 
Spanish Knight, La Cerda, who, to the intense indigna- 
tion of La Valette, presented himself amongst the woun* 
ded, though suffering only from a trivial scar, such as 
should in no way have incapacitated him from remaining 
at St. Elmo. The Grand-Master was so irritated against 
him for this second exhibition of cowardice, that he 
caused him to be imprisoned. His was, indeed, the 
solitary instance of a want of bravery on the part of 
that devoted garrison.* 

Now that both the counter-scarp and ravelin had 
fallen into the hands of the besiegers, on the latter of 
which two guns had been mounted that completely 

* Before the close of the siege, even this Knight had, hj an 
honourable death in face of the enemy, succeeded in wiping out the 
stain which his previous exhibition of cowardice had cast on his fair 
fame. Being released from his confinement in the castle of St. 
Angelo, he joined valiantlj in the defence of the Bourg, and fell 
during one of the numerous assaults delivered against that point. 


swept the ramparts, it was impossible for the garrison 
to find shelter on any portion of the works from the 
pitiless storm of missiles that constantly rained upon 
them. Had it not been for the promptitude with which 
the Grand-Master poured his reinforcements into the 
fort, its garrison must have completely melted away 
before the murderous fire of the besiegers. In this 
emergency the Chevalier Miranda proved himself a most 
valuable acquisition, and his ingenuity displayed itself 
in countless devices, with which he endeavoured to 
create a temporary shelter from the artillery of the foe. 

Whilst such was the exposed position of the garrison, 
their ramparts soon fell into a still more perilous condi- 
tion. The large batteries which played constantly on 
their exposed escarps, from the summit of Mount 
Sceberras, aided by the fire from that on Point Dragut, 
as well as from some Turkish galleys, which poured 
their missiles at a long range from the entrance of 
the harbour, speedily reduced the entire place into one 
stupendous mass of ruin. It was less a breach of any 
one part of the ramparts than a demolition of its entire 
extent; and the bravest heart amongst those begirt 
within this circle of fire felt that all had now been done 
which human ingenuity and mortal bravery could ac- 
complish, to retard the capture of the fort, and that the 
time had arrived when, unless the garrison were to be 
buried within the ruins of their post, they should be at 
once withdrawn and the fort abandoned as no lonffer 

The Chevalier de Medrano, a Knight whose established 
reputation for bravery would render his report free from 
all taint or suspicion of pusillanimity, was selected by 
his brethren to proceed at once to the convent, and in 


a personal interview with La Valette, explain to him the 
desperate straits to which they were reduced, and to 
urge their immediate recall into the Bourg. La Valette 
was deeply affected at the moving picture which this 
heroic Knight drew of the utter exhaustion of the 
garrison, and the ruined condition of the defences. He 
could not, in his own heart, deny that all had been 
done which human endurance could devise to protract 
the defence ; and that the fort had been maintained 
against the most overwhelming odds and a fearful bat- 
tery of artillery, with a constancy and devotion worthy of 
the highest praise, and that, if the lives of these gallant 
warriors were not to be deliberately sacrificed and doomed 
to inevitable destruction, they should at once be recalled 
from the desperate post they occupied* Still he could 
not bring himself to direct the abandonment of the fort ; 
whilst, by its maintenance, the siege of the Bourg itself 
was being deferred, and the time protracted during 
which the succoui-s expected from the viceroy of Sicily 
might arrive. Toledo had indeed, in his last communi- 
cation to La Valette, insisted on the retention of St. 
Elmo as an essential condition of his support. Unless, 
he said, that point were maintained, he should not feel 
justified in hazarding the emperor's fleet in any attempt 
to raise the siege of Malta. La Valette felt, therefore, 
that so much hung upon the issue of this struggle that 
he was compelled to drown those feelings of compassion, 
which would otherwise have prompted him to rescue 
his brethren from their fate ; and he determined, at 
every sacrifice, and at all costs, to maintain St. Elmo 
until it should be wrested from him by sheer force. 

He therefore directed Medrano to return to his post, 
and point out to his brethren within the fort the abso- 


lute necessity which existed for their still continuing 
firm in their posture of defence. When this stern 
decree became known, the garrison perceived that they 
were doomed to be sacrificed for the general safety. 
Many amongst them, particularly those who, having 
grown grey in the service of the Order, felt perhaps the 
more ready to lay down their lives at the will of their 
chief, prepared at once to obey, and to prolong to the 
latest possible moment the duration of their resistance. 
Others there were, however, of the young members of 
the fraternity, who were by no means equally ready to 
await in calm obedience the fate to which the decree of 
the Grand-Master had doomed them. Their young and 
ardent spirits rebelled against the policy by which they 
were to be sacrificed for the weal of their more fortu- 
nate brethren. They were indeed ready and willing to 
brave an honourable death in the face of the foe, with 
the prospect of striking one last blow in the good cause 
before they fell ; and if the adverse fate of war had 
doomed the entire convent to extinction, they would 
have met their end with the same lofty resignation as 
their comrades. But the present was a very different 
case ; they conceived that they were being needlessly 
sacrificed merely for the purpose of prolonging the 
resistance of the fort for a few days, and loud murmurs 
of astonishment and indignation arose amongst their 
ranks when the message of La Valette was communi- 
cated to them by Medrano. 

This insubordination did not content itself with find- 
ing vent in mere idle murmurs ; that same evening, a 
petition was forwarded to the Grand-Master, signed by 
fifty-three of the garrison, urging him to relieve them 
instantly from their untenable post ; and threatening, in 


case he neglected to accede to their request, to sally 
forth from their intrenchments, and meet an honourable 
death in open combat, rather than suflfer themselves to 
be buried like dogs beneath the ruins of the fort. La 
Valette was highly incensed at the insubordinate and 
mutinous tone of this despatch, and he informed the 
bearer that he considered that the vows of the Order im- 
posed upon its members the obligation, not only of 
laying down their lives when necessary for its defence, 
but further, of doing so in such a manner, and at such 
a time as he, their Grand-Master, might choose to 
appoint. Fearful, however, lest the garrison, driven to 
desperation, might in reality execute the threat which 
they had held forth in their letter, and, anxious to pro- 
long, if even only for a few hours, the retention of the 
post, he despatched three commissioners thither, to 
inspect and report upon its general condition and 
powers of resistance. The arrival of these Knights 
was hailed by the garrison with most lively satisfaction, 
as they considered it a preliminary step to their being 
relieved, and withdrawn into the Bourg. Indeed they 
had already commenced making preparations for that 
purpose, and were engaged, at the moment when the 
commissioners arrived, in throwing their shot into the 
wells to avoid their becoming useful to the foe. They 
eagerly pointed out the shattered and desperate con- 
dition of the fortifications, and appealed with confidence 
to the judgment of the inspectors for a justification of 
the course which they had pursued. 

Two of the commissioners, struck with the general 
aspect of ruin and destruction which met the eye on 
every side, the yawning chasms which gaped in all 
directions, and the numerous inlets which lay open to 


the attack of the besiegers, decided unhesitatingly that 
the place was no longer tenable. The third, however, 
an Italian, named De Castriot, was of a diflTerent 
opinion ; he averred that, ruined though the fortifica- 
tions were, and exposed as was the whole interior to the 
murderous tire of the assailants, still it was feasible, by 
means of further intrenchments, to retain the place in 
safety. This unsupported opinion appeared to the 
garrison little better than an insult, and high words 
and a fierce altercation ensued. De Castriot asserted 
that he was prepared instantly to back his opinion by 
personally undertaking to conduct the defence of the 
fort ; and this oflfer on his part, which was construed 
into an idle boast, and a taunting bravado, raised their 
feelings of indignation so strongly against him, that a 
general tumult seemed about to break forth. De 
Broglio, however, with great presence of mind, caused 
the alarm to be sounded, when every Knight instantly 
rushed to his post, and the irritating conference was 
thus brought to a close. 

The commissioners then returned to the Bourg, and 
made their report to La Valette in full council. De 
Castriot still stoutly maintained the opinion he had 
already put forward, and requested the permission of 
the Grand-Master to raise a body of volunteers, with 
whom he undertook to maintain the post against all 
assaults, and against any odds. This ofier on his part 
met the views of La Valette precisely, and his sagacity 
instantly foresaw the result that would inevitably 
happen. Permission was given to De Castriot to raise 
his corps of volunteers, and there were so many appli- 
cations for the post of honour, that a considerable 
number were of necessity rejected. Meanwhile, a most 


cold and sarcastic epistle was forwarded by the Grand- 
Master to the garrison of St. Elmo, informing them of 
the steps which were being taken, and stating that they 
would shortly be relieved from their post of peril. 
*' Return then, my brethren," he concluded, in terms of 
most bitter and cutting irony, " to the convent, where 
you will be in greater security, and I, for my part, 
shall feel less uneasiness, when I know that the safety 
of so important a post is entrusted to those in whom I 
can place more implicit confidence." 

The consternation which this epistle spread around 
was inconceivable ; each one felt that it would be im- 
possible for him to accept of the oflfer of safety thus 
ignominiously tendered, and that they would become 
objects of general scorn did they surrender the post of 
honour into other hands. They had, it was triie, re- 
quested permission to abandon the fort altogether ; but 
they were not prepared to yield to others their place in so 
honourable a struggle, which, if it was to be maintained 
at all, should, they felt, be continued by themselves. 
An earnest letter was, therefore, instantly forwarded to 
the Bourg, imploring forgiveness for their previous re- 
bellious conduct, and beseeching that they might be 
permitted still to retain the post of honour which they 
occupied. This was the result which La Valette had 
foreseen, but he deemed it prudent not to accept of their 
submission too promptly : he therefore coldly declined 
their oflfer, and once more directed them to prepare for a 
return to the Bourg. This refusal increased the general 
dismay, and a still more pressing request was forwarded, 
once more beseeching permission that they might have 
an opportunity of wiping out the memory of what had 
passed in their blood; and they pledged themselves, 


should they be allowed to continue in their posts, to 
maintain the fort with the most unflinching heroism and 
constancy to the very last. 

This was all that La Valette had desired ; the garrison 
had now been worked up to such a pitch of enthusiasm, 
that he felt the defence of the fort might with safety be 
entrusted to them. Contenting himself, therefore, with 
despatching such reinforcements into the place as the 
constantly occurring casualties demanded, he prepared 
to await the issue of the desperate struggle. That issue 
was not Jono^ in arrivino:. The incessant cannonade of 
the besiegers had destroyed nearly every vestige of 
defence on the side where their batteries played, and at 
length instructions were issued by Mustapha for a 
general assault. On the whole of the 15th of June, 
their artillery was worked with still greater vivacity 
than usual, so that the garrison were unable in any way 
to repair the damage that had been effected. This 
furious cannonade was towards evening increased by 
the fire which was opened from the ships. Mustapha 
had, in the firm confidence of carrying the fort on the 
following day, directed the fleet to hold itself in readi- 
ness to force the entrance into the Marsa Musceit as 
soon as the assault had commenced ; and it was for this 
purpose that they arrived from Marsa Sirocco on that 

These, and many other unmistakeable symptoms, 
warned the garrison of the attack which was awaiting 
them, and they, on their side, took every precaution 
which their limited means permitted to resist it to the 
death. Huge piles of rock were placed around on the 
parapets to be hurled upon the storming columns. 
The Knights were so told off that one of them stood 


between every three men for guidance and encourage- 
ment. Three small bodies were kept in reserve to 
render assistance at any point which might become 
hardly pressed ; and a few of those who, from wounds 
or age were considered the least valuable as fighting 
men, were appointed to convey ammunition and refresh- 
ment to the combatants, so that they might on no 
account be called upon to leave their posts. 

Various descriptions of fire-works were provided in 
great profusion, and some of these were of so curious a 
nature as to well merit a description. Pots of wild-fire 
were made of earthenware, so baked as to break with 
great facility. They were of ^a size which admitted of 
their being thrown by the hand a distance of some five- 
and-twenty or thirty yards, and had a narrow orifice, 
which, after the charge had been inserted, was closed 
with linen or thick paper, secured by cords dipped in 
sulphur. At the moment of throwing the missile these 
cords were lighted, and as, on reaching its destination, 
the earthenware broke into fragments, the wild-fire was 
by their means ignited with facility. This wild-fire 
was composed of saltpetre, ammoniacal salt, pounded 
sulphur, camphor, varnish, and pitch ; and when once 
ignited, it burnt with the utmost fury, clinging to the 
persons of those with whom it came in contact, and in 
most cases causing a death of the most agonising tor- 
ture. The same material was also placed in hollow 
cylinders of wood, called trumps, which, when lighted, 
poured forth a stream of the most vivid and un- 
quenchable flame ; these trumps, attached to the ends 
of halberts or partisans, formed a most formidable 
obstacle to the advance of a storming party. Another 
missile, used with great efifect at this siege, was a circle 

VOL. n. u 


of fire, which, being of considerable diameter, when 
hurled from above into the midst of a body of men, 
often enclosed several in its fiery embrace, and easily 
f. succeeded in igniting their clothes, which, after the 
manner of Moslem nations, were of light materials, and 
flowing. The invention of this missile has been com- 
monly attributed to La Valette, but wrongfully, as it 
had been used with good effect many years prior by the 
imperial troops in their Hungarian campaigns. 

Before the dawn, on the morning of the 16th, the 
vigilant garrison distinguished the sounds of a religious 
ceremonial which was at that moment being performed 
in the ranks of the en^my, and which they rightly 
judged was the precursor to the assault, Mustapha's 
first step was to line his trenches at every available spot 
with arquebussiers, to the number of 4000. These 
men had already, greatly to the annoyance of the gar- 
rison, displayed their marvellous skill as marksmen ; and 
during this day's struggle they were of the greatest 
possible use in checking the garrison from showing 
themselves upon the parapets. At the appointed signal, 
given by Mustapha himself, a chosen and numerous 
body of janissaries, the leaders of the assault, rushed 
into the ditch at a point where a yawning breach pro- 
mised the greatest facilities for ascent. During the in- 
terval, brief as it was, whilst they were crossing the 
open ground, the guns of St. Angelo, directed by the 
watchful La Valette himself, opened with great steadi- 
ness and accurate range upon their dense columns. In- 
deed, throughout the day the artillery of St. Angelo 
rendered the most efficient assistance to the garrison of 
St. Elmo, by raking the flank and rear of the Turkish 
forces, which, in advancing to the attack, became much 



exposed to their galling fire, and suffered in consequence 
considerably. Nor was that of St. Elmo less efficiently 
served ; from the instant that the enemy first showed 
himself, its guns opened with the utmost possible vehe- 
mence upon the advancing battalions, and ere the foot 
of the breach had been attained, many a turbaned head 
had been laid prostrate on that arid rock which he was 
now watering with his life's blood. 

The janissaries, however, were not troops who could 
be diverted from their attack even by this deadly fire. 
With yells of defiance, and shouting the fierce war-cry 
of their religion, they still dashed forward with the most 
reckless intrepidity, and as the iron hail ploughed deep 
furrows in their ranks they closed up the yawning 
chasms with the most invincible obstinacy, and still 
pushed their way forward towards the fated breach. 
Here, however, they were doomed to meet with fresh 
obstacles and a new foe ; the summit of that breach was 
crowned by men who had long since despaired of saving 
their lives, and who stood there prepared to resist to the 
latest gasp, and to sell their existence as dearly as pos- 
sible. Against this impenetrable phalanx, to which the 
force of mere desperation had added yet greater strength, 
it was in vain, even for the redoubted janissaries, to 
attempt an entrance. Though they hurled themselves 
again and again upon that barrier, feeble as it was in 
number, they were as often forced to recoil, and the 
unsightly mass of mangled and gory slain with which 
the ruined entrance lay strewed, marked at once the 
vigour of the attack and the desperate gallantry of the 

Whilst this main attack was going forward at the 
principal breach, two other minor attempts were being 

H 2 


made by the Turks to carry the fort by escalade ; one 
on the side of the Marsa Musceit, the second, and most 
formidable, on that of the Great Harbour. The first 
was repulsed without much difficulty by the unaided 
efforts of the besieged. The huge fragments of rock 
which they hurled from the parapet broke in pieces the 
scaling ladders by which the foe were mounting to the 
assault, whilst those who had already ascended the lad- 
ders were thrown back into the ditch, and most of them 
crushed to death. On the other side, the attack was 
led by a forlorn hope of thirty men, who, with a fana- 
ticism not unusual to their nation and their religion, 
had bound themselves by a solemn oath either to carry 
the fort or to perish in the attempt, in which latter case 
they felt assured of an immediate entrance into Paradise, 
and a blissful futurity amid the dark-eyed houris with 
whom their heaven was peopled. Their efforts were 
directed against the corner of the cavalier facing St. 
Angelo ; and La Valette, who from his post of obser- 
vation had been anxiously watching the progress of the 
fight, soon perceived the desperate attempt and the 
fanatical bravery with which it was being persisted 
in. Finding that the garrison were hard pressed, he 
directed a gun to be opened upon the assailants from 
St. Angelo. Its first discharge was most unfortunate ; 
for being directed too much to the right it raked the 
rampart itself instead of the ditch in its front, and killed 
or wounded eight of the defenders. The second shot, 
however, was more effectual ; for falling into the midst 
of the band of fanatics, it swept away no less than 
twenty of them, and the remainder, panic-stricken at the 
blow, abandoned their attack and fled. 

Still the main attack continued to rage with unabated 


virulence. Fresh battalions were constantly hurried to 
the foot of the breach by the determined Mustapha, and 
as often driven back with great slaughter by the garri- 
son. Ever and anon were borne across the water shouts 
of encouragement and admiration from the anxious 
spectators who crowded the ramparts of St. Angelo; 
and as these cheering sounds reached the harassed com- 
batants at St. Elmo it nerved them to redouble their 
efforts, and to continue firm in their resistance to the 
constantly renewed assaults of the foe. They felt that 
their recent insubordination had, to a certain extent, 
lowered them in the eyes of their comrades ; and they 
rejoiced in thus having the opportunity of restoring 
themselves to their good opinion. For six hours was 
the combat maintained ; and still the assailants had 
succeeded in penetrating into no one point of the 
enceinte. At length the heat of the midday sun ren- 
dered further efforts impossible; and Mustapha, with 
disappointment in his countenance and rage at his 
heart, ordered a general retreat to be sounded. One 
loud shout of victory and exultation rose from the midst 
of that heroic band, who had thus, for a short time 
longer, so nobly averted the fate which was impending 
over them ; and a responsive echo came floating on the 
wings of the wind from their comrades in the Bourg. 

Great, however, as had been their success, it had not 
been purchased without a sacrifice which the slender 
force at the disposal of La Valette could ill have spared ; 
seventeen Knights, and three hundred of the soldiery, 
having fallen in the defence. Chief among these was 
the gallant Medrano, who received a mortal wound 
whilst in the act of wrenching a standard from the grasp 
of a Turkish officer. His corpse was removed with all 

H 3 


due honour into the Bourg, where it was interred in a 
vault of St. Leonard's church set apart for the dig- 
nitaries of the Order, From the day when he first 
entered St. Elmo, Medrano had been the life and soul 
of the defence. The chivalric gallantry of his bearing, 
and the frankness of his manners, had raised him high in 
the esteem of all who knew him ; and his death was bit- 
terly mourned by those who felt that his services could, 
at that critical moment, be but ill replaced. The loss of 
the Turks upon this occasion must remain a matter of 
conjecture ; still there can be no doubt that it reached 
a very high figure. Raked as they had been through- 
out the day by the artillery from St. Angelo, as well as 
exposed to an incessant and galling fire from St. Elmo 
itself, it is impossible that the struggle could have been 
maintained during so many hours without swelling the 
number of their casualties to an enormous extent. 

Night had no sooner set in than boats were despatched 
from the Bourg to bring in the wounded, who could no 
longer be serviceable in the defence of the fort. Again 
was the gallant D'Eguaras amongst the severely wounded ; 
and once more did he refuse to leave his post, although 
strongly urged to do so by La Valette. Meanwhile, a 
most generous rivalry sprung up in the garrison of the 
Bourg, each one striving to be of the number of those 
who were to reinforce the gallant defenders of St. Elmo, 
Although it was clear to the meanest comprehension 
that the post they sought was that of almost certain 
death, these brave volunteers crowded forward, and 
La Valette's only difficulty was whom to select where 
all displayed so noble a spirit. The choice was, how- 
ever, made, and the fort once more placed in as favour- 


able a position for defence as its desperate condition 

In the Turkish camp anxious consultations were held 
as to the steps necessary to be taken to bring this pro- 
tracted siege to a conclusion. Dragut, who appears to 
have been the only commander in the Turkish army 
competent to conduct a siege, pointed out that, so long 
as the garrison of the Bourg were permitted to keep up 
a communication with that of St. Elmo, and to pour in 
fresh bodies of troops after every assault, they would 
never succeed in carrying the place. Under his advice, 
therefore, the headland opposite Point Dragut, and 
which, with it, constitutes the first entrance into the 
harbour*, was occupied by the Turks, and a battery 
constructed upon it. He also extended the trenches in 
front of St. Elmo down to the water's edge opposite 
St. Angelo ; and here, also, he constructed a small 
battery which effectually precluded the possibility of 
any boat landing at the fort from the Bourg. Whilst 
superintending the construction of these works he was 
struck in the head by a splinter, dislodged from the rock 
by a cannon ball from St. Angelo, and conveyed mor- 
tally wounded to his tent. This event, however, did 
not occur until after he had, by his prudent counsels, 
ensured the downfall of the doomed fortress. These 
operations were not carried on without the most vehement 
efforts on the part of the besieged to prevent their suc- 
cessful consummation. But on the 19th of the month 
the investment was completed ; and from that moment 
the garrison was cut off from aU assistance, and forced 

* On this point Fort Bicasoli now stands. 

H 4 


to rely on their own unaided exertions for further 

For three days a ceaseless fire was kept up from 
thirty-six guns in the Turkish trenches, and with the 
first grey dawn of the morning of the 22nd, a new 
assault burst upon St. Elmo. Exhausted as they were 
from the constant strife and ceaseless cannonade of the 
previous three days ; short of ammunition, and exposed 
on their ruined ramparts to the deadly fire of the 
Turkish arquebussiers, they still met their foe with 
the same indomitable resolution as before. Three times 
was the assault renewed, and three times was it suc- 
cessfully repulsed; but on each occasion that gallant 
little band became more and more thinned, and the 
prospect of further resistance more and more hopeless. 
In agonised suspense did La Valette, from his post of 
observation, watch the raging strife, and high beat his 
heart with proud and admiring exultation when once 
again he heard the sound of retreat issuing from the 
Turkish host. Again had the Moslem recoiled in dis- 
grace from the blood-stained rock. Still was the white 
cross banner waving from that ruined fort, and the 
slender relics of its noble band of defenders once more 
raised a feeble shout of victory. It was, however, the 
last expiring effort of heroism and endurance. Encir- 
cled by foes on every side ; cut off from all assistance 
on the part of their friends in the Bourg ; and reduced 
to little more than half their original number by the 
desperate struggles of the day, they felt that their last 
moment of triumph had indeed arrived, and that, with 
the first dawn of the morrow's sun, the abhorred ban- 
ner of the Infidel would wave over their ruined fortalice. 

In this desperate emergency, an expert swimmer con- 


trived to carry a message to La Valette, conveying in- 
telligence, of the truth of which he was, alas ! too well 
assured. All that human bravery could devise had 
been accomplished to save that vital point from falling 
into the hands of the foe. Its defence had been pro- 
tracted far beyond the period which even the most san- 
guine could have anticipated, and now there remained 
not the shadow of a doubt that it wanted but the light 
of another day to ensure its destruction. 

La Valette, therefore, felt that the moment had now 
arrived when, if it could still be accomplished, the rem- 
nant of the garrison should be withdrawn into the 
Bourg, and the ruins of St. Elmo abandoned to the 
enemy. For this purpose he despatched five large boats, 
conveying a body of volunteers, who were even yet 
willing to share the fate of their comrades ; and with 
this succour he forwarded a message to the bailiff 
D'Eguaras, leaving to him the option of abandoning the 
fort, and retiring with his whole garrison into the 
Bourg by means of the boats he had sent, should he 
deem the place at length utterly untenable. The per- 
mission, alas ! came too late. La Valette had steadily 
and sternly refused all suggestions of surrender whilst 
the road for a retreat still lay open, and now, when at 
length he had brought himself to yield to the pressure 
of circumstances, that road was closed for ever against 
those heroic martyrs thus deliberately sacrificed for the 
weal of their Order and the safety of their brethren. 
In vain did they attempt to approach the rocky point 
where the ruined fort still loomed indistinctly in the 
darkness of the night. The wary Turk knew too well 
how surely a last effort would be made to save the 
handful of noble victims whom he had at last securely 


enclosed within his grasp, and his watchful sentinels 
gave speedy notification of the approach of the succour- 
ing convoy. The alarm was instantly given, and the 
battery which Dragut had constructed for that purpose 
opened with deadly precision. Thus discovered, it was 
useless to persevere in the attempt, and, with heavy 
hearts and clouded brows, these gallant spirits who had 
hoped to rescue their brethren from destruction, were 
forced to return once more to the Bourg. 

Anxiously had the attempt been watched by the gar- 
rison of the fort, and when the reverberating echoes of 
the Turkish artillery told them that it had been dis- 
covered and foiled, they felt that their doom was indeed 
sealed, and their last hour arrived. Abandoning all 
hope, either of rescue or escape, they assembled solemnly 
in the little chapel, and there mutually confessed one 
another, and received the last sacrament of their religion 
in holy communion. It was a sad, touching, and solemn 
sight, that midnight gathering round the little altar of 
St. Elmo's chapel : deeply scarred with many a ghastly 
wound, exhausted with days of strife and nights of 
vigil, with every hope of rescue driven to the winds, 
that band of heroes stood once again, and for the last 
time, consecrating themselves, their swords and their 
lives, to that holy cause which they had espoused. His- 
tory has told, and as years roll on in their revolving 
cycle, will continue to tell, of deeds of gallantry and 
chivalric heroism, such as will make the heart throb 
with quickened action, as its record is perused by suc- 
ceeding generations ; but never has tale been recorded 
upon that lustrous page which can exceed in the sub- 
lime devotion of its heroes, that which was exhibited 
upon the occasion which we are now narrating. 


The religious ceremony concluded, and their peace 
with Heaven made, they proceeded to take such mea- 
sures as were still in their power, to sell their lives as 
dearly as possible, and to retain their post to the last 
moment. Such of their number, and they were by no 
means a small proportion, as were too severely wounded 
to be able to stand unsupported, caused themselves to 
be conveyed in chairs to the breach which was so soon 
to be the scene of their last struggle, and there, sword 
in hand, and with their face to the foe, calmly prepared 
to meet that fate which they knew but too well was 
awaiting them. 

With the first blush of dawn, the Turks, who had 
been anxiously awaiting its appearance to pounce upon 
their now defenceless prey, rushed fiercely at the gaping 
breach with frantic shouts of hatred and exultation. 
Baffled in so many previous attempts, their rage had 
increased with each new disaster, and now that tliey 
felt secure that their destined victims could not elude 
their grasp, every passion in their hearts was aroused 
to avenge in the best blood of the Order of St. John, 
the fearful losses which had been inflicted upon them- 
selves. For four hours the strife raged wildly around 
that fated spot, and though each moment lessened the 
number of the defenders, the dauntless remnant still 
stood firm at their post. Incredible as it may seem, at 
the close of that period, the Turkish force, exhausted 
by its own efforts, once more suspended the assault. No 
shout of triumph at this unexpected respite arose from 
amidst the ranks of the defenders, nor did any encourag- 
ing voice find its way across the waters from St. Angelo. 
Only sixty wounded and enfeebled warriors remained 
to dispute the entrance of the foe ; and to their imperish- 


able renown be it told, that it was from the almost ex- 
hausted eflforts of these sixty men that the Turkish army 
had recoiled. 

That suspension was, however, but the preliminary to 
a last and still more impetuous attempt : as the tiger 
draws back only to ensure the more fatal accuracy of 
his spring, so had Mustapha recalled his battalions, only 
that they might dash upon their expected victims with 
the more unerring certainty. The garrison took advan- 
tage of the interval to bind their wounds and refresh 
themselves for a renewal of the combat. D'Eguaras, 
who perceived that the handful who still remained within 
the fort must be overwhelmed by the first rush of the 
foe, recalled the defenders of the cavalier, to reinforce 
the slender remnant. He trusted that his abandon- 
ment of that dominating point might, for some time at 
least, be unperceived by the Turks ; but he under esti- 
mated the vigilance of Mustapha. That chief had been 
too long detained, and too often worsted in his attempts 
upon St. Elmo, not to maintain a keen and watchful eye 
upon all that was passing among its ruins, now that its 
possession had become ensured to him. He at once 
detected the movement that was taking place among the 
garrison, and despatching a body of janissaries to. secure 
the abandoned post, he proceeded to avail himself of its 
dominant position to command the whole interior of 
the work. 

At the same moment he gave the signal for a renewal 
of the assault, and the Turkish battalions, secure at 
length in their victory, rushed with shouts of triumph 
to the breach. The defenders were taken by surprise 
from the suddenness of the move, and ere they could 
rally themselves the fort was lost. This fact mattered 


but littk, however, for the summit of the cavalier being 
crowded with the best marksmen in Mustapha's army, 
it would have been impossible for one of the defenders 
to have shown himself upon the breach, without becom- 
ing the mark of a hundred bullets. All combined action 
was now over ; the place was lost and won ; and it only 
remained for the last scene of that sad tragedy to be 
enacted, which has cast such melancholy interest over 
the name of St. Elmo. 

No quarter was asked or given, and desultory com- 
bats, in various parts of the enclosure ensued, until the 
last of that heroic, but forlorn garrison, had bitten the 
dust. A few of the Maltese soldiery, then as now, most 
expert in the art of swimming, dashed headlong into the 
water, and succeeded, amidst a storm of missiles, in 
making good their escape to the castle of St. Angelo. 
Another body of nine men, but whether members of the 
Order or hired soldiers is not very clear, were saved 
from death by falling into the hands of a body of 
Dragut's corsairs, these pirates realising the fact that a 
live Christian was a more valuable article of merchandise 
than a dead one, and being more actuated by a love of 
gain than by such fiery fanaticism as stimulated the 
Turks to a wholesale slaughter, saved the lives of the 
nine prisoners whom they had captured, for the purpose 
of making them galley-slaves. The tattered banner of 
St. John, which still fluttered in the wind, was torn 
ignominiously from its post; and on the 23rd June, 
the eve of its patron saint's day, the imperial flag of 
the Moslem was reared in its place. 

Mustapha had himself entered in triumph through 
that breach which had been so long and so warmly 
contested, and which had been watered by the heart's 


blood of SO many a noble and daring spirit, and gazing 
around on the mangled corpses of his now prostrate 
foe, the heart of the Infidel >yas aroused to such a pitch 
of savage atrocity, that even those senseless and bleeding 
relics were not sacred from his revengeful malice. The 
heads of D'Eguaras, Miranda, and two others, were by 
his orders struck off, and erected upon poles looking 
towards the Bourg, whence they told the sad tale of 
their fate to their sorrowing comrades. Not content 
with this act of desecration, Mustapha proceeded to 
others still more brutal ; he caused the bodies of such 
of the Knights as he could discover to be securely 
fastened to spars in the form of a cross, and he likewise 
directed a deep gash in the form of a cross to be cut 
upon each of their breasts. Thus mutilated, and with 
their heads struck off, they were sent floating into the 
harbour, and the action of the stream carrying them 
across to St. Angelo, the garrison of that post were 
aroused to feelings of indignation yet bitterer than 
before, at the mangled and unsightly spectacle thus pre- 
sented to their eyes. By La Valette's order the bodies 
were gently and reverently raised from their floating 
bed, and as it was impossible, in their then condition, 
that they could be recognised, they were all solemnly 
buried together in the conventual church at the Bourg, 
It would have been well for the reputation of La 
Valette, had he restrained the feelings of indignation 
which this disgraceful event had most naturally evoked 
within reasonable bounds; but unfortunately the chro- 
nicler is compelled to record that his retaliation was as 
savage, and as unworthy a Christian soldier, as was the 
original deed ; nay even more so, for Mustapha had con- 
tented himself with mangling the insensible corpses of 


his foe, whilst La Valette, in the angry excitement of 
the moment, caused all his Turkish prisoners to be de- 
capitated, and their heads to be fired from the guns of 
St. Angelo into the Ottoman camp. Brutal as was this 
act, and repulsive as it seems to the notions of the modern 
warrior, it was, alas ! too much in accordance with the 
practice of the age to have been regarded with feelings 
of disapprobation, or even wonderment, by the chroni- 
clers of those times. Still the event casts a shadow over 
the fair fame of otherwise so illustrious a hero, which 
history regrets to record. 

The intelligence of the loss of St. Elmo was promptly 
conveyed to the wounded Dragut, who lay in the last 
agonies of death beneath his pavilion in the Turkish 
camp. A gleam of satisfaction shone across the wan 
and ghastly countenance of the dying chief, as the 
news was imparted to him of the success to which his 
genius had so materially contributed; and as though 
he had lingered upon this earth solely for the purpose 
of assuring himself of the completion of his design, he 
no sooner received that assurance than he breathed 
his last. His loss, which in itself was a great blow to 
the Turkish cause, was by no means the only price 
which Mustapha had had to pay for the ultimate 
success of his project. No less than 8000 Turks 
are reported to have fallen in the trenches before 
St. Elmo between the date of the commencement of 
the siege and its ultimate fall : the loss of the Christians 
amounted to 1500, of whom 130 were members of the 

Thus, after a siege of upwards of a month, fell that 
ruined bulwark ; shedding, even in its loss, a glory over 
the military renown of the Order of St. John greater 


than many a more successful defence could have 
reflected. Though Mustapha had ultimately succeeded 
in his designs, yet much precious time had been 
sacrificed in the attempt, and there can be no doubt 
that the protracted and obstinate defence of St. Elmo 
was the main cause of the ultimate failure of his 
enterprise, as it gave ample time to the dilatory viceroy 
of Sicily to organise and despatch those reinforcements, 
by means of which the siege was eventually raised. 

The losses which the Turkish army sustained during 
the operation, severe as they were, counted but little 
in the eyes of Mustapha when compared with this great 
and unexpected sacrifice of time. He had been taught 
the resistance he might expect in every stage of his 
undertaking; and even his bold mind quailed at the 
difficulties with which his path was still beset. Well 
might the aged chief, standing upon the ruins of that 
fort he had with so great difficulty gained, and gazing 
at the lofty ramparts of St. Angelo, whose rising tiers 
of batteries were still crowned at their summit with 
the white cross banner of the Order, exclaim in an 
agony of doubt and perplexity, which the issue of the 
struggle proved to be almost prophetic : " What will 
not the parent cost us, when the child has been gained 
at so fearful a price ? " 




The festival of St. John the Baptist, on the 24th of 
June 1565, was celebrated in Malta with very different 
feelings, by the beleaguered inhabitants, and by their 
Moslem foe. A cry of anguish had arisen throughout 
the Bourg whilst the sad tragedy was being perpetrated 
at St. Elmo ; and the horrifying spectacle of the headless 
and mutilated trunks, which greeted their sight on the 
first dawn of their patron saint's day, increased the 
general feeling of gloom and despondency which over- 
spread the garrison. 

Against this feeling, La Valette exerted all his elo- 
quence ; and in a public address, which he on that 
day delivered to the garrison and inhabitants of the 
Bourg, he aroused them rather to emulate the deeds of 
the heroic garrison of St. Elmo, than to mourn their 
untimely fate. " What," said he, " could a true Knight 
desire more ardently than to die in arms; and what 
could be a more fitting fate for a member of the Order 
of St. John, than to lay down his life for his religion ? 
and yet, both these precious boons have been vouchsafed 
to our brethren. Why, then, should we mourn for 
them ? — rather should we rejoice at the prospect of a 
glorious futurity, which they have gained for them- 

VOL. n. I 


selves. They have earned a martyr^s crowii, and they 
will reap a martyr^s reward. Why, too, should we be 
dismayed because the Moslem has at length succeeded 
in implanting his accursed standard on the ruined 
battlements of St. Elmo ? have we not taught him a 
lesson which must strike dismay throughout his whole 
army ? If poor, weak, insignificant St. Elmo was able, 
by the bravery of its garrison, to maintain itself for 
upwards of a month against his most powerful efforts, 
how can he expect to succeed against the stronger 
fortifications, and the more numerous garrison of the 
Bourg ? With us must be the victory, and with divine 
aid, most certain victory : let us then, before the altar 
of our God, on this sacred day, once more renew those 
vows of constancy which our slaughtered brethren 
have so nobly accomplished." After this stimulating 
harangue, a procession was formed to the conventual 
church of St. Lawrence ; and there the same solemn 
scene of consecration was re-enacted, which has once 
already been described. 

Whilst these ceremonies marked the occasion on the 
part of the Christians, the Turkish camp was, on its 
side, filled with the sounds of rejoicing at their victory. 
The Marsa Musceit was now open to their fleet, and 
with early morning, a long line of galleys, gaily decorated 
with flags and pennons, and with martial music re- 
sounding from their poops, rounded the Point Dragut 
triumphantly, and came streaming successively into 
their newly acquired haven. The works of St. Elmo 
were, by Mustapha's order, dismantled ; and the guns 
captured on its ramparts at once despatched to Con- 
stantinople, as a token of the success which he had 


He then turned his attention towards the new and far 
more formidable undertaking which still awaited him. 
The two peninsulas, which jutted into the main harbour, 
were, as has already been described, fortified as strongly 
as time and means would permit. The month which 
had been expended by the Turks before St. Elmo, had 
not been spent in idleness by La Valette. Wherever 
new works could be rapidly thrown up, to impart 
additional security to his enceinte, he had caused them to 
be executed ; and men and women, high and low, the 
noble and the peasant, the Knight and the private 
soldier, all laboured with equal energy and good will in 
the important work. A floating bridge was constructed 
across the inlet, contained between the two peninsulas, 
which connected the Bourg with Senglea, and thus 
permitted a free communication between the two 
garrisons. The strength of the Citta Notabile was 
reduced by five companies of soldiers, who were called 
in to aid in the defence of the far more important post 
of the Bourg ; and all private stores and provisions 
were seized for the public use, the owners receiving due 
compensation from the treasury. 

The prisoners in La Yalette's hands had, as has been 
already narrated, been foully murdered by his orders, 
under the guise of a reprisaille, after the fall of St. 
Ehno, and he wisely enough determined that none should 
again be made. A war a Voutrance was declared, and 
as the garrison could not with safety encumber them- 
selves with prisoners, no quarter was to be either asked 
or given. When these instructions reached Cittk No- 
tabile, where the garrison, from their position in the 
rear of the besiegers, had constant facilities for cutting 
off stragglers, the practice was established of hanging a 

I 2 


prisoner every day, and this was maintained, without a 
single omission, until the close of the siege. 

Having thus prepared himself in every possible way 
to meet the attack which he felt sure must commence, as 
soon as St. Elmo had fallen. La Valette calmly awaited 
the issue. Strong as was his confidence in the devotion 
and constancy of his garrison, he felt that his only hope 
of ultimate success lay in the succour which he was 
daily expecting from Sicily. As day after day glided 
by, and the position of St. Elmo became more and more 
hopeless, so did his anxiety for the viceroy's promised 
assistance increase ; and when, on the 23rd of June, he 
wrote to the commandant of Citta Notabile an account 
of the loss of that fort, he could not refrain from append* 
ing a bitter reproach against the dilatoriness which had 
ensured its downfall. 

Mustapha, now that Mount Sceberras was in his 
possession, at once moved the greater portion of his 
army round, so as to enclose the two peninsulas. The 
outline of the great harbour of Malta shows two bold 
promontories of very high land, which jut out one on 
either side. The one on the south was then called, and 
has still retained the name of Mount Corradin, and the 
other, that of Bighi. From the foot of the Corradin, 
completely round to Mount Salvator, did Mustapha 
construct his trenches ; and as soon as the work was 
completed. La Valette and his little garrison were 
entirely isolated from succour. 

Before, however, this could be accomplished, four 
galleys, under the command of Don Juan de Cardona, 
had reached Malta, and landed their force on the opposite 
side of the island. This reinforcement, under the com- 
mand of the Chevalier de Roblcs, consisted of forty-two 


Knights of the Order, twenty gentlemen from Spain, 
eleven from Italy, three from Germany, two from 
England (whose names have been recorded as John 
Smith and Edward Stanley), fifty-six hired gunners, 
and a corps of 600 imperial foot, making a total of 734, 
Taking advantage of a thick fog, which most fortunately 
overspread the island, Robles succeeded in passing the 
Turkish lines in safety with his little force, and in 
joining his brethren in the Bourg on the 29th of June. 
This reinforcement, slender as it was, greatly raised the 
spirits of the garrison ; the more so, as they brought 
the intelligence that a far more efficient succour was 
being collected in Sicily, and would shortly make its 
appearance for their rescue. In proportion as the 
spirits of the garrison were raised by this cheering 
incident, were those of the Turkish army depressed. 
They soon learnt that fresh troops had entered the 
town, and their fears greatly exaggerated the number. 
Rumours also reached them of the large preparations 
going forward in Sicily for more efi\ictual aid, so that 
Mustapha himself, dreading an interruption, and but 
ill secure in the staunchness of his troops, deemed it 
advisable to try whether he could not obtain by negotia- 
tion that which it appeared so possible he might fail 
to acquire by force of arms. For this purpose he 
despatched as an envoy, under the protection of a flag 
of truce, a Greek slave, who was the bearer of an offer 
of the most liberal terms, should the Grand-Master con- 
sent to capitulate. These terras included everything 
which had been granted by Solyman to Lisle Adam at 
the siege of Rhodes, and the Knights were guaranteed 
the security both of life and property, provided they 
surrendered the island to the Ottoman power. 

I 3 


To La Valette this mission was most unacceptable. 
He had from the very first determined either to rescue 
his island home by a determined and successful resist- 
ance, or to bury himself and his fraternity beneath the 
ruins of its bulwarks. His eloquent exhortations, and 
the example of his own energetic braver}^, had roused a 
similar feeling in the minds of all his garrison, and he 
was most unwilling that this determination on their 
part should be shaken by the offer of such alluring 
terms as those which the pasha was disposed to hold 
out. He was in the constant hope of a succour from 
Sicily, and he was determined that no step on his part 
should annul the benefits of that rescue when it ar- 
rived. In order, therefore, to prevent the recurrence 
of any such proffers, he at once, with a voice of the 
most commanding sternness, directed that the miserable 
envoy should be hanged. The unfortunate Greek, on 
hearing this cruel sentence, threw himself at the Grand- 
Master's feet and implored mercy, averring, with great 
truth, that he was not the master of his own actions, 
but had been compelled to undertake the office. It is 
probable that La Valette had never seriously contem- 
plated taking so cruel a step ; his object had been 
merely to terrify the envoy to such a degree as to pre- 
vent him from ever again undertaking a similar em- 
bassy. His life was therefore spared, and La Valette, 
pointing to the deep ditches which surrounded the castle 
of St. Angelo, bade him inform his master that there 
lay the only ground within the island of Malta which 
he was prepared to surrender, and that its depth was 
sufficiently great to be a grave for the whole Turkish 

This haughty and defiant reply showed Mustapha 


that he had nothing to hope for from negotiation, and 
that if Malta was to be won by the Turk, it must be 
by force of arms alone. He therefore pushed forward 
his siege works with redoubled vigour, and early in 
July had completely surrounded both the Bourg and 
Senglea. The latter, surmounted at its extremity by 
the fort of St. Michael, was the point of his first attack, 
and he opened batteries upon it from every available 
point. From Mount Sceberras, the Corradin, and all 
the other neighbouring points, a pitiless storm of mis- 
siles was brought to bear upon that portion of fort St. 
Michael which it had been determined to breach. The 
point selected was that called the Spur Bastion, which 
formed the extremity of the fort touching the harbour, 
and was therefore open to attack by sea as well as by 

As it was impossible for Mustapha to bring his 
galleys to the attack of this quarter by the ordinary 
channel, without subjecting them to a most terrific fire 
from the castle of St. Angelo, he determined upon at- 
taining his end by the adoption of a novel expedient. 
From the upper extremity of the Marsa Musceit to that 
of the great harbour, the distance across the isthmus 
of Mount Sceberras was not great, and Mustapha caused 
a number of galleys to be bodily transported across the 
land and re-launched under Mount Corradin. This ser- 
vice was performed by the Christian slaves, of whom 
considerable numbers were retained in the Turkish 
camp for duties of this nature ; and in a few days La 
Valette beheld no less than eighty boats floating upon 
the upper extremity of that harbour, whose entrance 
he had so sedulously guarded. 

It was at this period that an acquisition was made 

I 4 


by the garrison in the form of a deserter of high rank 
in the Turkish army. This man, whose name was 
Lascaris, was a Greek of very high family, who had in 
early youth been captured by the Turks, and being 
brought up in the Mahometan faith, had attained to a 
high grade in their army. Reminiscences of the religion 
of his fathers, and a sense of the shame which over- 
shadowed the career of even the most brilliant renegade, 
had long haunted Lascaris, and had rendered him dis- 
satisfied with the position which he occupied ; and now, 
when he beheld the members of that religion, of which 
he himself should have been a disciple, so steadfastly 
performing their devoir, he felt the shame of his posi- 
tion to increase tenfold, and imminently dangerous 
though the step was, and utterly ruinous to his worldly 
prospects, he nobly determined upon risking all, and 
joining his fortunes with those of the heroic garrison. 
One evening, therefore, towards dusk, he descended the 
eminence of Mount Sceberras, opposite the castle of 
St. Angelo, and made signals by waving his turban of 
his desire to be taken into the fort. Before his sig- 
nals could be answered, he had been discovered by the 
Turkish sentries, and a body of men were sent down 
to the water's edge to capture him. In this dangerous 
juncture Lascaris, though no swimmer, plunged into 
the water, and contrived to maintain himself afloat until 
he was picked up by the boat which the Grand-Master 
had despatched to his assistance. 

On his arrival at St. Angelo, he informed La Valette 
of the motives which had induced him to desert his 
colours, and alleged that his only desire was to be 
admitted into the Christian religion, and to be per- 
mitted the privilege of combating in the cause of his 


new faith. He also gave notification of the attack 
which was impending upon the spur of St. Michael's, 
and urged the Grand-Master to take further measures 
for its protection. La Valette was so struck with the 
noble sacrifice which Lascaris had made, that fearless 
of treachery, which beneath so frank and open a brow 
as that of the young neophyte could never have lurked, 
he appointed him a pension from the public treasury, in 
amends for the position which he had abandoned ; nor 
had he ever cause to regret his confidence, for through- 
out the remainder of the siege Lascaris proved himself 
not only a valiant captain in the field, but also a most 
able adviser in the council. 

Following out the suggestions thus offered to him. La 
Valette took every precaution to avert the impending 
storm. The seaward ramparts of St. Michael's were 
all strengthened; additional cannon were planted at 
every point where they could be brought to bear upon 
the approaching foe ; and, as a last and still more im- 
portant step, a huge stockade was constructed across 
the head of the harbour, from the Spur Point to the 
foot of Mount Corradin. This stockade was formed of 
huge piles, driven into the bed of the harbour, and 
connected together by means of chains, which passed 
through iron rings, fixed into the head of each pile. 
In addition to this, large spars and masts were fastened 
from pile to pile, and a barrier was thus constructed 
which effectually protected the point of St. Michael's 
from a water attack on the side of the Corradin. As 
the other side was open to the guns of St. Angelo, it 
was not considered necessary to protect it in a similar 
manner; as it was deemed that the batteries which 
swept that side were amply sufficient for its security. 


Similar barriers were also erected in front of the posts 
of England, Germany, and Castile. The operation was 
performed entirely by night, as the constant and un- 
erring musketry fire of the enemy would have rendered 
it an utter impossibility to continue the work through- 
out the day. 

As the Maltese have been, since a very early period, 
celebrated both as swimmers and divers, they contrived 
to complete the task in an incredibly short space of 
time; and Mustapha was dismayed at perceiving so 
novel and formidable an obstacle daily growing up to 
impede his projected boat attack. He was not, however, 
the man to allow such a work to be carried through 
without making a strenuous attempt at its destruction ; 
and he selected a body of the most expert swimmers in 
his army, whom he provided with axes, and despatched 
against the obtrusive barrier. The Admiral del Monte, 
who commanded in the fort of St. Michael, met this 
attempt by a similar sally on the side of the garrison. 
His Maltese divers, with swords between their teeth, 
dashed eagerly into the water, and their superior 
activity in that element yielding them a great ad- 
vantage over their opponents, they speedily succeeded 
in overcoming them, and only a few half-drowned 
wretches regained the shore of all those whom Mus- 
tapha had despatched. 

At this period, and whilst the assault was still im- 
pending, the viceroy of Algiers, named Hassan, the son 
of the redoubtable Barbarossa, and son-in-law to the 
corsair Dragut, who had so recently met his death in 
the trenches before St. Elmo, arrived with a reinforce- 
ment of 2500 men ; an auxiliary force, rendered less 
important on account of its numbers than by the class 


of which it was composed. They were all men who 
had served a long apprenticeship in the desperate and 
piratical warfare of the Mediterranean. Hassan, whose 
great success as a general had rendered him not a little 
in Sated and vain-glorious, sneered at the numerous 
failures which had hitherto overtaken the Turkish 
army. A survey of the ruins of St. Elmo led him to 
express his amazement that Mustapha should have 
allowed himself to be baffled for such a length of time 
by so insignificant a fort ; and, following up the taunt, 
he volunteered, at the head of his brave troops, to lead 
the assault which was to be made against St. Michael. 
The Turkish general was only too glad to give the 
young braggadocio an opportunity of making good his 
words, and he was appointed to head the assault 
upon the land side, whilst his lieutenant, Candelissa, 
led the attack by water. 

At an appointed signal, on the morning of the 15th 
of July, the assault commenced by the advance of the 
Turkish flotilla, which had been previously conveyed 
across the land from the Marsa Musceit. The progress 
of this miniature fleet was marked by the strains of 
martial music, which arose on every side; and the sun 
on that summer's mom was reflected back from many 
a glittering spear, and lighted up many a gay and flut- 
tering pennon. It was a beautiful sight, and one which, 
but for the fearful stake which hung at issue upon the 
result of the day, must have been gazed upon with 
feelings of admiration from the thickly-crowded bastions 
around. The war had, however, been hitherto carried 
on with so bitter a venom on either side, that nought 
but a sense of the most rancorous hatred was elicited by 
this display. Men called to mind, at that moment, the 


barbarous outrages which had been perpetrated on the 
mangled bodies of their brethren at St. Elmo ; and each 
one, as he gazed upon the proudly advancing foe, grasped 
his falchion with a firmer grip, and registered a mental 
vow, that he would avenge that fatal day in the heart's 
blood of those who were thus daring his wrath. 

In advance of the squadron was a boat, containing 
two priests, who continued reciting from the Koran such 
texts as appeared most likely to arouse the fanatical 
ardour of their followers ; but as they approached the 
scene of strife, these men of peace cared no longer to 
lead their flock to the post of danger, but resigning their 
position to Candelissa, they wisely returned to their 
camp, and watched the issue of the conflict from a safer 

Candelissa's first attempt was upon the palisades, 
through which he endeavoured to force a passage ; and 
he had also provided himself with a quantity of planks, 
with which, he proposed to bridge over the space be- 
tween the palisade and the point. Both attempts 
proved, however, a complete failure. The barrier was 
far too strong to enable him to push a passage through 
it ; and his planks were not sufficiently long for the 
bridge which he had proposed to make. Galled by a 
fearful fire from the ramparts, which was momentarily 
prostrating numbers of his bravest men, Candelissa felt 
that it would be impossible for him to remain where he 
was, without speedily inducing a panic amongst his 
followers. Drawing his sword, therefore, he plunged 
into the water, which reached nearly to his neck, and 
calling upon his men to support him, he waded to shore, 
and made a dash at the breach. An unfortunate ex- 
plosion in one of the magazines of the fort materially 


aided the assailants in tbeir first attempt; and tbey 
succeeded in establishing a footing at the summit of the 
breach, where they planted a number of small banners 
in token of triumph. 

To this point they had succeeded in obtaining an 
entrance ; but all fiirther ingress was barred by the 
serried array of defenders, to whom they were now op- 
posed. Long and desperate was the struggle ; and the 
tide of battle appeared to fluctuate, the prospect of 
victory now leaning on the one side, and now on the 
other. At last, however, the force of numbers appeared 
likely to prevail against even the indomitable bravery 
of the Knights of St. John ; and, step by step, they 
felt themselves driven backward over the rampart. 
La Valette, from his post of observation at St. Angelo, 
perceived the adverse turn which affairs were taking, 
and instantly despatched a powerful succour from the 
garrison of the Bourg to the scene of strife, by means 
of the temporary bridge which he had caused to be 
constructed. Mustapha, on his side, had watched with 
exultation the progress which his battalions had made 
in penetrating within the defences of St. Michael ; and, 
in order to complete the success, and' overcome all 
further opposition, he embarked a number of janissaries 
in ten large boats, and despatched them to the assistance 
of Candelissa. 

In order to avoid the stockade, which the previous 
failure had shown to be impregnable, this flotilla steered 
well roupd to the northward, and thus brought itself 
under the fire of the guns of St. Angelo. Upon the 
rock which formed the base of this fortress a battery had 
been constructed hfleur d^eau^ for the express purpose 
of protecting the spur of St. Michael ; and the Knight 


who had command of this battery, no sooner saw the 
advance of the hostile force, than he determined upon 
dealing it such a blow as should at one fell swoop anni- 
hilate it for ever. He caused his guns to be loaded 
with bullets, fragments of iron, and numerous other 
missiles of a similar nature, and then quietly awaited 
until the enemy approached within easy range. At a 
given signal the battery, which from its depressed po- 
sition had escaped the notice of the Turks, belched forth 
its murderous fire, at a distance of little more than 
two hundred yards, raising the whole surface of the 
water into a lashing foam with the storm of missiles 
which it poured forth. The effect was instantaneous. 
The boats had all been crowded together, and the dis- 
charge had taken effect directly in their midst. Several 
sank at once, and the remainder were so encumbered 
with dead and dying, that all further advance was hope- 
less, and the shattered relics of this formidable reinforce- 
ment returned in dismay to their own side of the harbour, 
without even having attempted a landing on St. Michael's 
point. The wondrous effect of this deadly discharge 
has been described with great unction by all the Chris- 
tian annalists of the siege ; and the loss which the 
Turks sustained by it has been variously computed at 
from four to eight hundred men. For days after, the 
bodies of the killed floated upon the water, and were 
seized upon by the expert Maltese swimmers, who 
reaped a rich harvest from the gold and silver ornaments 
which were obtained from their persons. 

Meanwhile the succour which La Valette had sent to 
the closely pressed defenders of the spur had joined 
their comrades, and, by the welcome addition of their 
numbers, once more turned the tide of battle. With a 


shout of anticipated triumph they dashed at the foe, 
whom the tragedy just enacted beneath their eyes had 
filled with consternation, and succeeded in driving them 
headlong over the breach. Even Candelissa himself, 
whose reputation for courage and daring had until that 
moment been above suspicion, appeared overtaken with 
panic, and was the first to turn his back upon the com- 
bat, and to fly shamefully from the sword of the pur- 
suer. On his first landing at the point, he had directed 
the boats which had brought him thither to push off 
from the land after disembarking their freight, in order 
that his troops might fight the more desperately, from a 
feeling that all road to a retreat was cut off from them. 
He now found this valiant direction of his highly incon- 
venient ; and as he stood upon the edge of the rock, 
eagerly beckoning to the boats to return, he presented 
a spectacle but little edifying to those who beheld 
him. He hurried ignominiously into the first boat 
which reached the spot, and was followed by such of his 
comrades as were fortunate enough to secure the same 
means of escape. The remainder fell almost unresisting 
victims to the fury of the besieged, and casting aside 
their weapons, they loudly cried for mercy and quarter. 
That appeal, however, was made to hearts which were 
thirsting too eagerly for revenge, and which had become 
steeled by too many cruelties inflicted on their brethren 
to admit of its finding any favour there. The stem reply 
to their pitiable supplications was : " Such mercy as you 
showed to our brethren in St. Elmo, shall be meted out 
to you, and none other ; " and as each successive vic- 
tim was struck to the earth, the fatal blow which de- 
prived him of life was jocularly termed St Elmo's pay. 
Candelissa and his fugitive comrades having made good 


their escape from the fatal point, the Christians em- 
ployed upon their work of butchery became exposed to 
the fire from the enemy's batteries, which, now that 
there was no longer any fear of destroying their own 
men, opened furiously upon the point. In this cannon- 
ade, the young son of the viceroy of Sicily, Frederic de 
Toledo, who had been despatched by his father to reap 
his first laurels in arms under the Maltese banner, was 
killed. La Valette had always, out of consideration for 
his father, studiously kept him from the more exposed 
and dangerous posts ; but the fiery enthusiasm of the 
young soldier could not tamely brook this position of 
inglorious security. When, therefore, the reinforce- 
ment left the Bourg for Senglea, Toledo contrived to 
join their ranks unnoticed, and bore himself right 
gallantly in the short but decisive struggle which en- 
sued. Had he not been thus early cut ofi* in his career, 
there was every prospect that the germs of that noble 
and gallant spirit which he possessed would have blos- 
somed into a hero, of whom his country might have 
been proud ; and, as it was, his untimely fate, whilst 
fighting for a cause in which he had no direct personal 
interest, created a feeling of the most poignant regret 
in the bosom even of the stem and impassive La Valette 
himself. Too many of his own brethren were, however, 
daily falling around him, some of high and noble lineage, 
in the heyday of youth and the first flush of manhood, 
for the loss of any individual to create a lengthened im- 
pression. Each one felt, indeed, that he carried his life 
in his hand, and when his comrade was struck dead by 
his side, it appeared only as though he had by a few 
short hours anticipated his own fate. 

Whilst Candelissa had been thus engaged in the as- 


sault upon the spur, which ended so disastrously for 
the Turks, Hassan had on his side made several des- 
perate but futile attempts to penetrate into the defences 
of the land front of Senglea. Wherever the assaulting 
columns showed themselves, they were met by an im- 
penetrable array, through which no efforts could pierce. 
The young Algerine exerted every art which eloquence 
could inspire, to incite his followers to redouble their 
efforts. He was mindful of the scornful boast which he 
had uttered whilst gazing on the ruins of St. Elmo, and 
he strove hard to fulfil what he had there alleged. He 
was fated, however, to be taught that he was now 
fighting against an enemy very different from those 
with whom he had hitherto come in contact, and over 
whom he had always gained an easy victory ; and so at 
length, foiled in his enterprise and exhausted with his 
efforts, he was compelled sullenly to withdraw his troops, 
and to acknowledge the bitterness of defeat. 

Thus ended this memorable day, a day which reflected 
as much glory on the garrison of Malta as disgrace upon 
their assailants. Nearly three thousand of the flower of 
the Ottoman army, the great bulk of whom were janis- 
saries and Algerine corsairs, perished upon the occasion, 
whilst the loss of the garrison did not exceed two hun- 
dred and fifty. La Valette caused a solemn thanksgiving 
for this important success to be offered up in the con- 
ventual church of the Bourg ; and although he saw with 
dismal foreboding the gradual diminution in the num- 
bers of his garrison, to whom even the comparatively 
trivial loss of that day was a sensible disaster, still he 
allowed no trace of his gloomy presentiment to make it- 
self apparent. Mustapha, on his side, felt that still greater 
exertions were necessaiy in order to atone for the failures 



which had hitherto attended his arms; and as the 
strength of the garrison was now much reduced, he con- 
ceived that he would be obtaining the greatest possible 
advantage from his superiority in that respect by carry- 
ing on his assaults against Senglea and the Bourg simul- 
taneously. He was still of opinion that if he could 
obtain possession of the former, which was by far the 
most weakly fortified, St. Angelo and the Bourg could 
not hold out long. 

He therefore retained the direction of the attack on 
St. Michael in his own hands, whilst he confided that 
against the Bourg to his coadjutor Piali, the admiral of 
the fleet. To Candelissa, the Algerine corsair, whose 
conduct during the late assault had not raised him in 
the estimation of his comrades, was intrusted the charge 
of the fleet, with directions to cruise ofi^ the mouth of 
the great harbour, and intercept any attempts which 
might be made in that direction to throw reinforcements 
into the town. This division of command created the 
greatest rivalry and emulation amongst the chiefs. Each 
one felt that if he were the fortunate man to gain the 
first footing within the enemy's defences, the whole 
glory of the expedition, and consequently its rewards, 
would fall to his share. 

Piali, therefore, determined to push forward the attack 
on the Bourg as rapidly and as vigorously as possible, 
in order to eff^ect an entrance as soon, if not sooner, 
than the pasha Mustapha. A battery had already been 
made upon Mount Salvator, which played upon the post 
of Castile and a part of that of Auvergne. To this Piali 
added another battery, nearer the point of Bighi, of far 
larger dimensions, containing guns and mortars of much 
more ponderous calibre ; and with this he battered the 


whole town, and reduced the nearest ramparts to a state 
of utter ruin. At the same time, he pushed his trenches 
forward with the most indefatigable rapidity, and in an 
incredibly short space of time he had approached so 
close to the bastion of Castile, that all was ready for an 

Mustapha had also employed the interval in increasing 
the power of his batteries, and in harassing the garrison 
of Senglea by a constant and galling cannonade; and 
on the 2nd of August, he delivered an assault at this 
point. For six hours the struggle was maintained with 
equal obstinacy on both sides. Five times were the 
Turks repulsed from the breach, and as often were they 
rallied by the indomitable Mustapha, and brought again 
to the attack. At length, however, he was compelled, 
through the sheer exhaustion of his men, to abandon the 
attempt, and the worn and feeble garrison were once 
more permitted to enjoy a brief repose. 

This, however, was not of long duration, for five 
days afterwards, viz., on the 7th of August, a fresh 
attack was made upon both points simultaneously, and 
at both points it again signally failed. Piali exerted 
himself to the utmost to penetrate through the gaping 
breach in the ramparts of Castile, but the energy of the 
garrison was too great to admit of his success. Re- 
trenchments had been formed in rear of the exposed 
points, and so galling a fire was maintained upon the 
advancing squadrons, that they staggered under its 
intensity ; nor could all the admonitions of their leaders 
prevent them from cowering beneath the storm. Whilst 
in this state of confusion, rendered still more inex- 
tricable by the various obstacles with which the breach 
had been thickly strewn, the garrison, assuming the 

K 2 


offensive, dashed at the struggling foe, and with vast 
slaughter drove them headlong back into their trenches. 
Mustapha's attack was at first greeted with better suc- 
cess. His columns obtained a footing upon the breach, 
and a desperate hand to hand combat ensued, in which 
it appeared most probable that numbers would, in the 
long run, prevail. He himself was to be seen in e very- 
direction, sword in hand, cheering on his followers, pro- 
mising rewards and booty to those who conducted 
themselves manfully, and with his own hand cutting 
down the foremost of those who were displaying their 
poltroonery by flight, until eventually he succeeded in 
obtaining a gradual advantage, and in driving the 
garrison back from the contested rampart. 

At this moment, when all appeared lost, and when a 
short time longer must have decided the fate of Senglea, 
Mustapha, to the amazement of the garrison, sounded 
the signal for retreat. At the moment this movement 
on his part appeared but little else than a direct inter- 
position from heaven, and in that light the Knights, as 
devout catholics, were disposed to regard it. The 
circumstance, however, was to be accounted for in a 
much more ordinary manner. The commandant of the 
Citt^ Notabile hud heard the ceaseless din which, since 
early dawn, had raged around the devoted fortress, and 
had rightly conjectured that the Turks were delivering 
another of those fearful assaults which had so often before 
pressed the garrison hard. He determined, therefore, 
upon endeavouring to make a diversion in their favour, 
and mustering all the cavalry under his command 
within the city, he sent them forth in charge of a 
Knight, with general directions to make a descent 
wherever they might find an available opportunity. 


The Knight in command advanced cautiously to the 
head of the Marsa, where the sick and wounded of the 
pasha's army lay encamped. The guards of the camp 
had all left their posts, and were on the neighbouring 
heights gazing intently on the scene of strife before 
them. The little force, seizing the advantage thus 
offered to them, rushed upon the camp, and com- 
menced an indiscriminate massacre of the helpless 
creatures around them. Shrieks, groans, and yells re- 
sounded in every direction, and a general panic spread 
throughout the army. It was averred that the reliev- 
ing force from Sicily had landed, and that its advanced 
guard was already upon their rear. The news spread 
like wild fire ; terror and dismay were on every face, 
and each one, without waiting to front the foe, be- 
thought himself only how best he might escape from 
the general massacre which he doubted not would ensue. 
The intelligence reached Mustapha in the thick of the 
struggle at St. Michael's, and at the very moment of 
victory, he felt the prize torn from his grasp. An im- 
mediate retreat was sounded, and his disheartened 
troops assembled to meet the new foe who was, by 
general intelligence, supposed to be even then upon his 
flank. What was his rage and astonishment, when he 
reached the scene of action, to learn the true state of 
afiairs. The Christians, having attained their object, 
and created a diversion, which could not fail to be useful 
to their brethren, had wisely retired before their retreat 
was cut oflF by numbers ; and Mustapha found, to his 
unspeakable indignation, that he had abandoned a vic- 
tory, which was almost within his grasp, on a false 

From this day he resolved to carry his point rather 

K 3 


by the harassing frequency of bis attacks, than by their 
intensity. Each day, therefore, witnessed successively 
a repetition of the struggle at one or other of the two 
points of attack; and each day the defenders beheld 
their numbers gradually thinning from the efforts they 
were compelled to make in resisting the foe. Mean- 
while, their ambassador at the court of Sicily had not 
been idle. His was indeed no easy task, and it required 
the most skilful diplomacy to carry his instructions 
judiciously into effect. Whilst, on the one hand, it 
was urgently necessary that he should stimulate the 
dilatory viceroy to increased exertions in collecting his 
relieving force ; it was, on the other hand, equally in- 
cumbent upon him to say or do nothing which could, 
by any possibility, be construed into a cause of offence. 
When, however, the news had successively reached 
Sicily, first of the fall of St. Elmo, then of the blockade 
of the Bourg; and lastly, of the incessant assaults 
which were being made on that point, and on St. 
Michael's, he could no longer refrain from a vehement 
remonstrance at a delay which seemed certain to ensure 
the loss of the island. 

It is very difficult to account for the conduct of the 
viceroy in this juncture. It is a well-known fact that 
he was warmly attached to the Order, and particularly 
so to La Valette ; he had even intrusted his own son 
to the perils of the siege, under the care of the Grand- 
Master ; and it cannot be supposed that, having taken 
such a step, he could be indifferent to the fate of the 
island. Whether he feared, by too hasty an intervention, 
to compromise the safety of his master's fleet, or whether 
he was acting under secret instructions from Philip 
himself, which, indeed, is very probable, can never now 


be ascertained ; but it certainly is very clear, that had 
it not been for the almost incredible perseverance of La 
Valette's resistance, the succours, by means of which 
the island was eventually rescued, would have arrived 
only in time to have beheld the Turkish flag waving on 
the summit of the castle of St. Angelo. 

The remonstrances of the ambassador induced the 
viceroy to summon a council to discuss the steps which 
should be taken ; and a proposition was then actually 
made, and supported by several voices, that the island 
should be left to protect itself. Fortunately, however, 
for the reputation of Philip and his viceroy, as also for 
the very existence of the Order of St. John, other and 
nobler counsels prevailed, and an assurance was for- 
warded to La Valette that if he could maintain himself 
until the end of August, he should most certainly be 
relieved by that time. La Valette had experienced too 
many disappointments with regard to the viceroy's 
promises, to lay much stress upon this new pledge ; nor 
was the assurance itself very cheering, since, in the 
ruined state of his fortifications, it appeared almost 
impossible he could maintain himself so long. 

It would merely weary the reader, and be a simple 
repetition of precisely similar scenes, to describe in detail 
the assaults which were day after day delivered by the 
indomitable Mustapha and equally persevering Piali. 
On the 18th of August, however, the diurnal assault to 
which the Knights had now become accustomed to look 
forward with certainty, assumed a far greater import- 
ance, and was of a much more deadly character, than 
usual. Both points were attacked, but the assault upon 
the Castile bastion was deferred by Piali for some time 
after that upon St. Michael's had been commenced, 

K 4 


partly with the hope of inducing some of its defenders 
to withdraw to the assistance of their friends at St. 
Michael, and partly to enable him to spring a mine 
which had been successfully driven beneath the bastion. 
Finding that the delay did not tempt any of the gar- 
rison to abandon their posts, Piali directed that the 
mine should be sprung ; and its explosion was attended 
with so great an effect, that a large portion of the 
rampart was ruined by the shock. In the general dis- 
may and panic which this unexpected event created 
amongst the garrison, the Turks pushed boldly forward, 
and when the dense smoke which hung sluggishly over 
the scene of the catastrophe gradually cleared away, 
the Ottoman banners were to be descried waving 
triumphantly upon the summit of the newly-formed 

The alarm was instantly spread, and the great bell 
of the conventual church pealed forth to notify the 
peril in which the garrison was placed. A terrified 
ecclesiastic, rushing into the presence of La Valette, 
besought him to take refuge within the castle of St. 
Angelo, since the Bourg was lost. All was panic and 
confusion, and had it not been for the calm presence of 
mind which La Valette displayed at that critical mo- 
ment, the town must indeed have been lost. Instead of 
following the advice of his ecclesiastical friend, La Va- 
lette seized a pike, placed a light casque on his head, 
and rushed to the scene of action, calling to his 
brethren to die manfully at their posts. A desperate 
encounter ensued, in which the Grand-Master was him- 
self wounded, but he succeeded in attaining his object, 
and once more clearing the breach of the foe. 

The danger from which this promptitude and daring 


had rescued them, had been so imminent and appeared 
so likely to threaten them again, that La Valette de- 
termined upon taking up his quarters permanently close 
to the exposed bastion. It was in vain that his Knights 
remonstrated with him upon this resolution ; it was in 
vain that they pointed out to him the value of his life 
in maintaining the defence. He persisted in his de- 
termination, thanking his friends for the zeal which 
they manifested for his safety, but assuring them that, 
at his age, it mattered little how soon he fell in the 
defence of his religion. The result proved the clear- 
ness of his foresight. That same night the Turks 
renewed the attack, and the spirit inspired amongst the 
defenders by the presence of their venerated chief 
amongst them, materially aided them in successfully 
resisting it. The 19th, 20th, and 21st each beheld an 
assault upon some point, and although upon each oc- 
casion the heroism of the garrison was successful, their 
reduced numbers proved clearly that they would be 
unable to sustain many more such attacks. 

Scarce a Knight remained unwounded of that gallant 
band, and La Valette was each day called upon to 
mourn the loss of some of those whose gallantry and 
resolution had endeared them to his chivalric heart; 
nor was he spared the pang of a loss nearer to him still. 
His own nephew, Parisot de la Valette, as gallant a 
Knight as ever donned harness, was struck down, with 
his companion in arms, the Chevalier Polastron, in a 
daring sortie which they had made in broad daylight ; 
and it was only after a long and fiercely-contested 
struggle, that their comrades succeeded in rescuing their 
corpses and bringing them back into the town. La 
Valette was himself a spectator of this mournful scene, 


and rejected all attempts at condolence, by assuring his 
hearers that the whole fraternity were to him as kin- 
dred, and that he did not mourn the loss of his nephew 
more than that of any other Knight who had fallen. 

Whilst the defenders were being reduced to this 
pitiable condition, the position of Mustapha was be- 
coming but little better. The incessant attacks he had 
persisted in making had, it is true, harassed the garrison 
beyond all endurance; but their constant failure had 
also produced the worst possible effect upon his own 
troops. They had lost the flower of their army, partly 
on those deadly breaches, which they had in vain en- 
deavoured to storm, and partly by the pestilence that 
had latterly raged with the most frightful virulence 
throughout the camp. Their ammunition was running 
low, and a scarcity of provisions had long since com- 
menced to make itself felt. It appears strange that, 
with so large a fleet as that which Piali commanded, 
they should have found any difficulty in maintaining a 
constant intercourse with the neighbouring coasts of 
Africa ; but certain it is, that whilst that fleet was 
lying in idleness within the Marsa Musceit, Sicilian 
cruisers were permitted constantly to intercept the 
transports by means of which their supplies were 

In these unfavourable circumstances, long and anxious 
consultations were held between Mustapha and Piali as 
to the course to be pursued. The former, who felt that 
his reputation and prosperity, nay, most probably even 
his life, depended upon the successful issue of the enter- 
prise, strongly urged that the army should, if necessary, 
winter upon the island ; but Piali, on the other hand, 
declared that he would not allow his fleet to run so 


great a risk. That fleet had been placed under his own 
especial control, and he alone was responsible to the 
sultan for its safety. As soon, therefore, as the summer 
commenced to break up, he announced his intention of 
quitting the island and returning to Constantinople, 
whether with or without the army. A constant jea- 
lousy had, since the commencement of the siege, shown 
itself between the rival Ottoman commanders ; and its 
ill eflfects had materially aided La Valette in main- 
taining his defence. 

Mustapha felt greatly dismayed at the opposition 
which his views met with from his coadjutor ; still he 
retained the secret of his despondency within his own 
breast, and instructions were issued for a fresh general 
assault on the 23rd. Two days prior to that event, 
some friendly hand amongst the besiegers shot into the 
town an arrow, to which was attached a billet, containing 
only the word Thursday; and the sagacity of La Valette 
led him instantly to divine, that on that day the struggle 
was to be renewed. A general council was summoned 
to deliberate upon measures of defence ; and he was 
then strongly urged to abandon both the Bourg and 
Senglea, and to withdraw with his reduced garrison into 
the castle of St. Angelo. The Grand-Master, however, 
would not listen to this proposition ; he pointed out 
that St. Angelo was too confined to contain all the 
inhabitants who would require a shelter within it ; nor 
would its water supply be nearly sufficient for their 
wants. Both the Bourg and Senglea must, therefore, he 
said, be maintained to the last ; and in order to show 
that he was determined to carry his views into execution, 
he withdrew the greater portion of the garrison of the 
castle, to reinforce those of the two towns. 


Early on the morning of the 23rd, the assault, against 
which they had been forewarned, took place. Every 
member of the Order whose wounds were not positively 
mortal, had upon this occasion quitted the infirmary, 
and once more resumed his post upon the shattered 
ramparts. Yet even with this assistance, the number 
of the defenders had dwindled down to a mere handful ; 
and nothing but the heroic spirit which nerved each 
arm of that devoted band, could have maintained the 
struggle which, throughout the day, they were called 
upon to sustain against the most overwhelming odds. 
Once again, however, were they victorious; and the 
baffled Mustapha was compelled to withdraw his dis- 
comfited troops from the scene of their failure. 

For a week after this defeat, the Turks attempted 
nothing further against the towns ; but contented them- 
selves with maintaining a sullen bombardment from 
their batteries. On the 1st of September, Mustapha 
once more essayed his fortune at a last desperate assault; 
and every incentive by which his troops could be stimu- 
lated to the attack was freely proffered by him. It 
was, however, all in vain. A spirit of disorganisation 
and despondency had spread itself through their ranks. 
They had long since declared, that it was evidently not 
the will of Allah that they should become the masters 
of Malta ; and they loudly demanded to be borne away 
from that island, where so many of their comrades had 
found a bloody grave. It was not by men imbued with 
feelings such as these, that victory was to be snatched 
from the determined and desperate garrison ; and the 
shattered battalions of the Moslem recoiled, almost 
without a blow, from the firm front which was still 
maintained against their assault. 


The feebleness of this last effort of the besiegers 
spread the greatest exultation, and the most sanguine 
hopes of ultimate success, in the hearts of the garrison. 
They began to hope that, alone and unaided, they should 
be enabled to drive the baffled and discomfited foe in 
disgrace from their shores ; and they almost ceased to 
wish for the presence of that reinforcement, whose ad- 
vent had been previously looked for with such earnest 

This long-expected, and oft-postponed aid was, how- 
ever, at length on its road to their rescue. On the 
25th August, a fleet of twenty-eight galleys, containing 
8500 troops, of whom nearly 300 were members of the 
Order, and the remainder Spanish and Italian soldiery, 
set sail from Syracuse, and appeared off the island of 
Malta. Whilst, however, the viceroy was undecided as 
to the steps he should take to relieve the garrison, a 
violent storm arose, which dispersed his fleet and com- 
pelled him to return to Sicily to refit. His troops, how- 
ever, were so clamorous to be once more led to the 
rescue, that on the 6th September he again set sail, and 
anchored that same night between the islands of Comino 
and Gozo. The next morning he landed his army in 
Meleha bay, a small but commodious port on the north 
of the island, and having witnessed the commencement 
of their march towards Citta Notabile, he returned to 
Sicily, for a further body of 4000 troops, who were still 
at Syracuse awaiting transport. 

Meanwhile, Mustapha had remained in his camp, 
after his last failure, in a condition of the most abject 
despondency. Every effort which his ingenuity could 
devise had been made to overcome the obstinate resist- 
ance of the defenders. Their works had been battered 


by a force of artillery far more powerful than had ever 
before been used at a siege ; they had been subjected to 
a series of the most desperate and prolonged assaults ; 
their works had been honeycombed by a most laborious 
series of mines ; a cavalier had been raised in front of 
the post of Castile, from the summit of which the interior 
of that bastion could be overlooked, but it had been 
torn from their grasp by the garrison, and actually con- 
verted into a post of defence. At his last assault he 
had contrived to throw into the town a cask filled with 
combustibles, with a slow match attached, which he 
trusted would spread dismay by its explosion amidst 
the ranks of the defenders ; but they had succeeded in 
hurling it back into the very middle of a column which 
was at the moment advancing to the assault, and which 
was shattered and dispersed from the eflFects of a missile 
devised by themselves. An attempt had been made 
against Citta Motabile, and that also had been baffled 
by the bravery and determination of its commandant. 
He had, in fact, been thwarted at every point ; and it was 
at this moment, whilst he was himself plunged into the 
depths of despondency, and whilst his troops were cla- 
mouring for an abandonment of the siege, that he re- 
ceived the first notification of the landing and advance 
of an army of succour to the Christians. 

The numbers of this force had, as is usual in such 
cases, been greatly exaggerated by report, and Mustapha, 
terrified lest he should be surprised in his trenches, and 
his retreat cut off, made instant preparations for de- 
parture. Although he had been well aware that troops 
were assembling, and a fleet collecting in the ports of 
Sicily, for the relief of Malta, he was nevertheless com^ 
pletely taken by surprise when the intelligence of their 


landing at Meleha reached him. He had imagined that 
the course which the Spanish viceroy would pursue, 
would have been to force an entrance into the grand 
harbour, and every preparation had been made by him 
to resist such an attempt. When, therefore, he gathered 
that all his precautions had been vain, and that a large 
Spanish army was, ^ that moment, within a few miles 
of his own reduced aSd dispirited force, the same feeling 
of panic overwhelmed him which had already spread 
itself amongst his troops. The night of the 7th of Sep- 
tember was passed in the embarkation of the artillery 
and other warlike stores, and the noise of removal, 
plainly audible to the garrison throughout that sum- 
mer's night, must have sounded like music in their ears. 
With the first dawn of day the embarkation of the troops 
commenced. St. Elmo was abandoned, and all those 
trenches and batteries which it had cost the Turks so 
many months, and so fearful an expenditure of blood 
to construct, were now relinquished into the hands of 
the garrison. 

La Valette's measures, on this joyful morning, were 
as prompt and decisive as those of Mustapha had been 
injudicious and hasty. The whole town poured forth 
into the trenches of the foe, and in a few hours the 
labour of months had been destroyed. The banner of 
St. John was once more triumphantly reared over the 
ruined fortalice of St. Elmo, and Piali was driven to 
expedite the departure of his galleys from the Marsa 
Musceit, which was no longer a secure refuge, now that 
Mount Sceberras was once again in possession of the 
Knights. The abandonment of the siege had been 
barely effected, and the embarkation of the troops scarcely 
completed, when Mustapha received more accurate in- 


telligence as to the numbers of those who were advanc- 
ing to the rescue of the garrison. The proud spirit of 
the Turkish general was struck with indignation at the 
thought, that he should thus hastily have abandoned 
the labour of so many months upon the advent of a force 
so far inferior to his own, and promptly summoning 
together a council of war, it was decided, by a slender 
majority, that the troops should be again disembarked, 
and marched into the interior of the island, to encounter 
their new opponents. The soldiers, worn out and dis- 
pirited by the lengthened struggle which had proved so 
fatal to themselves, murmured loudly at this decision of 
their chiefs, and were with the utmost difficulty torn 
from the ships, in which they had hoped to have been 
borne away from the scene of so many privations and 
hardships. Mustapha, however, was a man endued with 
too much determination of purpose to allow the discon- 
tent of a mutinous soldiery to divert him from his aim, 
and a body of about 9000 men once more stood upon 
the shores of Malta. 

Intelligence of this new movement was at once des- 
patched by La Valette to Delia Corna, the leader of the 
new contingent, and that general promptly took precau- 
tionary measures to meet the enemy, Delia Corna had 
secured a very strong position on the summit of a hill, 
and he was himself disposed to await, within his in- 
trenchments, the onset of the Turks ; but he had those 
under his command whose fiery zeal and impatient 
ardour could ill brook such a defensive policy. A body 
of 200 Maltese Knights, eacli of whom was accompanied 
by two or three armed followers, had formed themselves 
into a battalion by far the most efficient in Delia Corna's 
army. These Knights called loudly to be led at once 


against the foe who had caused the slaughter of so many 
of their brethren, and the general, against his own better 
judgment, was compelled to give way to the universal 
ardour, and, abandoning his post of advantage, to lead 
his troops against the advancing enemy. 

The two armies came to the encounter with a widely 
diflFerent spirit ; the one, sullen and disheartened at 
their numerous failures, were only too anxious to abandon 
the fatal spot ; whilst the others were burning with eager- 
ness to avenge the fate of those endeared to them by 
every tie of brotherhood, who had fallen victims in the 
struggle now so nearly ended. Imbued with such widely 
contrary feelings, and fighting with so different a spirit, 
it can be a matter of no surprise that the Turks were 
unable to withstand the shock of their antagonists. The 
struggle, indeed, could scarcely be dignified by the name 
of a battle ; at the very first volley the Turks fled, and 
Avere pursued by their eager opponents to their very 
ships. No attempt at resistance was made, and their 
line of flight was a constant massacre throughout. 
Hassan, the Algerine corsair, had been posted with 1500 
men to protect the point of embarkation, and had it not 
been for this precautionary measure on the part of 
Mustapha, not a single man of that army would have 
lived to reach the galleys. As it was, this seasonable 
relief for a short time imperilled the existence of the 
impetuous Maltese battalion. Disorganised by their 
hasty pursuit, and exhausted with their own efforts 
beneath the vertical rays of a September sun, this gallant 
body beheld themselves surrounded by Hassan and his 
Algerines, and must inevitably have been cut to pieces, 
had not Delia Coma promptly made his appearance with 
the main body of his army. All strife was now at an 



end ; the shattered remnants of the Turkish force once 
more sought safety on board their ships, and that fleet, 
which a few short months before had approached Malta 
with all the pomp and circumstance of war, and had landed 
their army with the proud assurance of conquerors, was 
now driven to abandon the enterprise with disgrace, 
and to carry away the diminished and enfeebled remains 
of their once powerful army with ignominy from the 
rocky coasts of that island which they had in vain en- 
deavoured to tear from the grasp of the Knights of 
St. John. 

Delia Corna having thus witnessed the final departure 
of the foe, marched his victorious force to the Bourg, 
and there they encountered the remains of that heroic 
garrison, whose lengthened and stubborn resistance had 
that (lay been brought to so glorious a termination. It 
was a sad and touching spectacle to witness the meeting 
between these enfeebled war-worn soldiers and the 
gallant comrades who had so opportunely come to their 
rescue. Of the 8000 men whom La Valette had, prior 
to the commencement of the siege, mustered beneath his 
banner, but little more than 600 remained at its close 
capable of bearing arms ; and almost every one of that 
chosen few bore upon his person the honourable scars 
received during many a hardly fought struggle. Ex- 
hausted and worn as they were with toil and watching, 
their wan and almost ghastly countenances were now 
lighted up with proud consciousness of the honours they 
had won, and the glorious victory they had gained. 
Alone and unaided, they had for months withstood the 
brunt of the whole power of the Turkish empire. Their 
ruined][and blood-stained ramparts could tell a tale of 
heroism and endurance such as the world had never 



before witnessed; that struggle was now ended, the 
victory was once again theirs, and the banner of St. 
John had yet another triumph to be emblazoned upon 
its folds, before which all those that had previously been 
the subject of so much pride and honour seemed pale 
and trivial. Well might La Valette be excused the 
natural exultation of the moment, when, calling to mind 
the glorious result of the struggle he had brought to so 
successful a termination, he directed that the name of 
his town should from that day forth be changed from 
its old appellation of the Bourg, to the proud and well- 
earned title of the Citti Vittoriosa. 

L 2 








The army which the pasha Mustapha had originally 
conducted against the island of Mai to consisted of 
30,000 men, selected from amongst the flower of the 
Turkish troops ; and the successive reinforcements 
brought to the island by the corsairs Dragut and 
Hassan, swelled that number to upwards of 40,000. 
Of this vast force, which but a few months before had 
landed triumphantly upon the rocky shores of that 
island which they had marked as their prey, scarce 
10,000 survived to accompany Mustapha on his 
return to Constantinople. 

The rage of Solyman, upon learning the disgrace 
which had befallen his arms, was such as might have 
been anticipated from one who, through a lengthened 
career, had hitherto almost invariably been the favoured 
child of victory. Tearing the despatch which contained 
the unpalatable intelligence into fragments, he ex- 


claimed that his arms were never successful save when 
he himself was present ; and he pledged himself to lead 
in person a fresh expedition against Malta at the com- 
mencement of the ensuing summer ; when he vowed he 
would not leave one stone standing upon another. Pre- 
parations were instantly commenced in the arsenals of 
Constantinople, for the construction of a fleet of suffi- 
cient magnitude to carry out the project of the sultan, 
and every nerve was strained to prepare such a force 
as should eflfectually wipe away the stain which the 
late failure had brought upon the glory of the empire. 
The position of the Order of St. John was at this 
moment critical in the extreme. Of the garrison of 
8000 men which before the siege had mustered beneath 
the white-cross banner, and which the reinforcement 
received shortly after the fall of St. Elmo had raised to 
nearly 9000, but little more than 600 remained, 
and these mostly wounded, and but ill-fitted to bear 
arms.* The process of exhaustion had been carried 

♦ The 8th of September, the day on which the siege of Malta was 
raised by the Turks, was always subsequently celebrated with great 
rejoicings by the Order, As the day .of the nativity of the Virgin 
Mary, it was already a festival of the Church ; but from the year 
1565 it became the most important anniversary in the calendar to the 
Inhabitants of Malta. On that day a solemn mass was performed for 
the souls of those who fell during the siege ; and the names of such 
among the victims as had attained any rank in the fraternity were 
registered in the records of the church. Of these, 18 were Knights 
of Provence, 4 of Auvergne, 21 of France, 50 of Italy, 14 of A r agon, 
4 of Germany, and 18 of Castile. Sir Oliver Starkey was the only 
English Knight of eminence recorded to have been present at the 
siege, and he survived, to occupy the dignities successively of lieu- 
tenant of the Turcopolier, and bailiff of the Eagle. It must be 
remembered, that these numbers only included those who had been 
either killed outright, or whose wounds had proved mortal before the 

T. 3 


on by Mustapha almost to the point at which he was 
aiming. It had been his purpose to harass the garrison 
by such constant assaults, that their numbers should 
eventually be so reduced as to leave them an easy prey 
to his arms. This policy had proved successful at St. 
Elmo ; and must undoubtedly have also realised his 
expectations at the Bourg, had his own means been 
sufficiently unlimited for the purpose. Whilst, how- 
ever, the results of his scheme were being thus de- 
veloped within the garrison, his own force was suffering 
a diminution, from sword and pestilence, to so fearful 
an extent, that when the moment arrived for taking 
advantage of the feebleness of the defenders, his army 
was no longer in a state to avail themselves of it. 

The defence of Malta has justly been considered the 
most brilliant feat of arms which has graced the annals 
of the Order of St. John ; and the historian naturally 
seeks for the causes which brought about so glorious a 
success. Foremost amongst these must be ranked the 
jealousy which existed between the military and naval 
commanders of the Turkish armament. Mustapha and 
Piali were both far too eager to prevent each other from 
realising the entire glory of the expedition ; and were 
but ill-prepared for that mutual concession and good- 
will which was so essentially necessary for the ultimate 
success of their arms. The engineering tactics of the 
Turks were, moreover, faulty in the extreme ; their 
neglect in permitting the garrison of St. Elmo to main- 
tain an uninterrupted communication with that of the 

close of the siege. There was probahlj a large additional number 
who lingered for months, and perhaps for years, and jet who most 
undoubtedly may be considered to have received their death wounds 
during this memorable struggle. 


Bourg, detained them before its walls many weeks 
longer than would otherwise have been the case ; and as 
though untaught by the results of that siege, they sub- 
sequently neglected to complete the investment of the 
Bourg, until after a comparatively considerable rein- 
forcement had succeeded in making its way into the 
town from Sicily. Dragut was undoubtedly right when 
he pointed out to Mustapha that he should, in the first 
place, have made himself master of the Citta Notabile. 
The fortifications of that town were comparatively in- 
significant, and after a few days' siege it must have 
fallen into his hands ; his rear would then have been 
secure from any disturbance whilst prosecuting the 
siege of the Bourg ; and the garrison would have been 
cut off^ from those resources which they derived from 
the Citta Notabile, during the early part of the siege. 

Thus far, it is from errors in the Ottoman tactics that 
we have deduced the successful result of the struggle 
on the part of the Christians ; but it would be a wanton 
robbery of that meed of glory which they had so justly 
earned, to deny that it was mainly owing to the 
heroic and indomitable bravery of the garrison, led as 
they were by so gallant and determined a chief as La 
Valette. It was fortunate for the renown of the Order 
that, at the moment when they were called upon to 
maintain so desperate a defence, they were led by a 
man who, from the energy of his character, and the 
stem determination of his purpose, was eminently 
qualified to guide them through the fiery ordeal. The 
character of La Valette was one which elicited far more 
respect and fear than love. There was a stern im- 
passiveness in his temperament; a steady and cold 
resolution of purpose, which marked how utterly he 

L 4 


excluded all personal feeling from the guidance of his 
actions. His mind was cast in a mould so stern and un- 
flinching, that he extorted an unwavering obedience from 
those who, had they perhaps loved him more, would have 
followed his injunctions less implicitly. His cold and 
uncompromising sacrifice of the garrison of St. Elmo 
for the safety of their brethren, marks at once the 
character of the man ; whilst the obedience, even unto 
death, which he extorted from that gallant band, even 
after they had broken out into open mutiny, proves the 
extraordinary ascendency which he had gained over 
their minds. The crisis required a man who could 
sacrifice all considerations of feeling for those of duty. 
A stern disregard not only of self, but also of others, 
where the exigencies of the case demanded it, was im 
peratively called for; and in La Valette the Order 
found a man capable of such sacrifice. He had also 
the rare faculty of arousing in others that religious 
enthusiasm which appears to have been the chief motive 
power of his own conduct in life ; and throughout this 
eventful siege, the meanest soldier engaged seems to 
have imbibed from his chief that lofty determination to 
conquer or to die, which was the great secret of their 
stubborn and successful resistance. 

Europe had looked on with bated breath whilst the 
strife was still impending. Ever and anon, as intelli- 
gence was brought of the successful maintenance of 
that resistance, and the constant failure of the Turkish 
assaults, a loud cry of acclaim would arise, and prayers 
were proflfered in many a Christian congregation for the 
ultimate success of the Cross against the Crescent. 
When at last it became known that that success had 
been indeed assured, and that the turbaned hosts of 


Solyraan had recoiled in disgrace from the sea-girt 
fortress, the universal joy and exultation knew no 
bounds. The successes of the Hospitallers over the 
Turks were a subject of the deepest congratulation to 
the courts of Madrid and Rome. The island of Malta 
had been looked upon as an advanced post to both of 
these kingdoms ; and had Solyman succeeded in estab- 
lishing himself in permanence on that point, the king- 
dom of Sicily and the papal dominions, would have 
been continually exposed to the piratical incursions of 
his Algerine subjects. It was at these courts, there- 
fore, that the sentiments of admiration and gratitude 
found the freest vent. 

Philip instantly despatched a special ambassador to 
Malta, with congratulations to La Valette upon the 
auspicious result of the siege ; and the envoy bore with 
him, as a present from the monarch, a magnificent 
poinard and sword, the hilts of which were of chased 
gold, studded with diamonds and other jewels. These 
costly weapons were presented to La Valette in full 
council by the ambassador ; who, in a set oration, in- 
formed the Grand-Master that the king of Spain looked 
upon him as the great hero of the age, and requested 
his acceptance of these weapons, to be used by him in the 
defence of Christendom. At Rome the universal enthu- 
siasm was unbounded. A salute was fired from the guns 
of the castle of St. Angelo, and a general illumination 
of the city testified to the exultation of the inhabitants. 
The Pope, Pius IV., as a special mark of favour, offered 
La Valette a cardinal's hat ; a dignity which had been 
previously tendered to, and accepted by, the Grand- 
Master D'Aubusson, after his successful defence of 
Rhodes. This proffer, which had proved acceptable in 


the latter case, had no attractions for La Valette. His 
position, as Grand-Master of so powerful and influential 
a brotherhood as the Hospital of St. John, may well 
have led him to consider himself of higher rank than a 
mere cardinal. Ruling over the islands of Malta and 
Gozo in sovereign independence; possessed of a fleet 
which scoured every corner of the Mediterranean ; and 
maintaining ambassadors at all the leading courts of 
Europe, he considered himself to occupy the rank of a 
sovereign prince ; and as such, the dignity of a cardinal's 
hat appeared to him unworthy of acceptance. The 
proffer of the pontiff* was therefore graciously declined, 
under the plea that the oflSce of Grand-Master required 
functions so diametrically opposed to those of a cardinal, 
that he did not consider they could be reconciled 

In the midst of this general scene of rejoicing and 
congratulation, it became necessary for La Valette to 
consider what steps should be taken to avert the renewed 
attack, which, as he was informed by his spies, was at 
that moment in active preparation at Constantinople. 
The position of the convent was in this crisis certainly 
most desperate. The fortifications were in a state of 
complete ruin, the arsenals and storehouses were empty, 
the treasury was exhausted, and the ranks of the fra- 
ternity so fearfully diminished, that an adequate garrison 
could not be provided, even had the island been in a 
proper state of defence. The general feeling of the 
council leant in favour of an immediate abandonment 
of the island, and the retirement of the convent into 
Sicily ; but La Valette felt that his renown, and that 
of the Order, had become too intimately blended with 
the island of Malta to brook so great a sacrifice as its 


surrender in the very hour of triumph. He loudly ex- 
pressed his determination to bury himself beneath those 
ruins he had already so successfully defended, rather than 
permit them thus tamely to fall into the possession of the 
Infidel ; and the same strong will and inflexible deter- 
mination which had so often before overruled the opinions 
and decisions of his council, once again triumphed over 
all opposition; and in accordance with the desire of 
their chief, it was determined to stand or fall in the 
island where they had already achieved so brilliant a 

The danger, however, was most imminent; and La 
Valette, feeling that it would be utterly impossible for 
him to oppose force by force, determined to have recourse 
to treachery to avert the impending blow. He had in 
his pay a large number of spies in and about Constan- 
tinople, and he availed himself of the services of some 
of these unscrupulous agents to cause the grand arsenal 
of that city to be destroyed by fire. Large stores of 
gunpowder had been accumulated for the purposes of 
the approaching expedition, and the devastation caused 
by their explosion was such as utterly to destroy the 
entire arsenal and the fleet which was being equipped 
within its precincts. This blow completely annihilated 
the intentions of Solyman with regard to Malta ; and 
his death, which occurred not long after, prevented any 
renewal of the attempt. Most writers, in narrating this 
occurrence, have deemed it due to the revered memory 
of La Valette to explain this act apologetically, by laying 
great stress upon the peculiar and critical position in 
which he was placed. There does not appear, however, 
to be any occasion for apology or excuse in the matter. 
The Ottoman emperor was notoriously and ostentatiously 


preparing a gigantic armament for the utter destruction 
and annihilation of the Order. Its object was no secret, 
and its destination had been openly declared by the 
sultan himself, who had boasted that he would not leave 
one stone upon another in that island which had dared 
to resist his armies. Surely it came within the legitimate 
rules of war to compass the destruction of that fleet 
whilst yet within the limits of the Ottoman arsenal, and 
La Valette was only exercising the prudent foresight of 
a great commander, in thus averting the blow which he 
would otherwise have been utterly unable to resist. 

All immediate danger of an invasion being thus 
happily ended, the Grand-Master turned his attention 
to the restoration of his convent, and the re-fortification 
of the island. The late siege had most clearly demon- 
strated the extreme importance of the post of St. Elmo, 
and the absolute necessity which existed for its re- 
occupation. La Valette determined, therefore, not only 
to reconstruct the fort upon a more extended scale than 
before, but also to carry out the project which had been 
already frequently mooted, of occupying the entire 
peninsula with a new town, and surrounding it with 
fortifications of such magnitude, as should render it 
safe from the attack of an enemy. Experience had 
shown that the Bourg, or as it was now termed, the 
Citti\ Vittoriosa, was but ill suited for the head-quarters 
of the convent. Exposed, on every side, to hills which 
completely overlooked it, the difficulty of maintaining 
it, during a lengthened siege, had been so distinctly 
marked, that some change appeared absolutely im- 
perative ; and no other spot, within the island, afforded 
so many advantages in the way of defence, as the 
Mount Sceberras. The expense, however, of carrying 


out such a project, would have been enormous; and 
La Valette, with a treasury completely exhausted, felt 
that he would have to depend greatly on foreign 
assistance to carry his design into execution. Ambassa- 
dors were therefore despatched to all the leading courts 
of Europe, furnished with plans showing the proposed 
alterations and additions to the defences of Malta, and 
earnestly demanding pecuniary aid for the realisation 
of the scheme. 

The Order, at this moment, stood in very high favour 
throughout all the Catholic countries of Europe ; the 
good service they had rendered to Christendom, by 
averting the dreaded inroads of the Moslem, was every- 
where recognised and appreciated. The demand for 
aid which now arose, was therefore warmly and freely 
met, and La Valette received assurances of such liberal 
contributions, that he was enabled at once to commence 
the realisation of his project. The Pope guaranteed a 
contribution of 15,000 crowns ; the king of France 
promised 140,000 livres, Philip pledged himself to 
supply 90,000 livres, and the king of Portugal promised 
30,000 crusadoes. Whilst this assistance was being 
rendered from without, the members of the fraternity, 
eager to secure the benefits which the proposed design 
would confer upon their convent, rivalled one another 
in the extent of their contributions. Many of the 
wealthiest commanders, not content with forwarding 
the entire revenue of their commanderies, stripped 
themselves of a large portion of their personal property, 
which they cheerfully merged into the public treasury, 
to aid in the good work. The noble heart of La Valette 
must have warmed within him, at the generous co- 
operation thus afforded to his design ; and summoning 


the most able engineers and architects then procurable 
in Italy, he no longer delayed the commencement of the 
new city. 

On the 28th of March 1566, the ceremonial of laying 
the first stone was performed by La Valette, with great 
pomp and magnificence. The spot selected for this 
purpose was the corner of St. John's bastion ; and here 
La Valette, following the ceremonial still customary 
upon similar occasions, spread the mortar in due form, 
and when the stone was lowered into its bed, struck it 
with his mallet, and having ascertained its correctness 
with the square, proclaimed it duly laid in the most 
approved fashion. Beneath the stone were deposited 
plans of the proposed city, as also several gold and 
silver coins, with medals bearing the legend, " Melita 
renascens ; " together with the day and year on which 
the building was commenced.* 

From this time La Valette devoted himself entirely 
to his new city. He took up his abode in a temporary 
wooden structure upon Mount Sceberras, and spent his 
days in the midst of the workmen. The example thus 
set by their chief was followed by all his knighthood, 
and each one strove, by precept and example, to urge 
forward the progress of the work. All the leading 
towns in Sicily and Italy were ransacked for artificers, 
and at one time no less than 8000 labourers were 
employed to assist the masons. 

The original design had contemplated that the high 
ridge of rock which formed the Mount Sceberras should 
have been cut down to a level platform, upon which the 
city was to have stood, surrounded by its ramparts, 
formed mainly from the natural rock, scarped down to 

♦ Vide Appendix, No. 17. 


the water's edge. Whilst, however, this work was in 
operation, and before it had become far advanced, 
rumours reached the island of a new expedition prepar- 
ing at Constantinople, and of which the destination was 
supposed to be Malta. Selim, who had succeeded to 
Solyman, was a man of pacific sentiments, and too much 
engrossed in luxuries and sensualities, to take delight in 
those ambitious projects which had been so constantly 
cherished by his father. Still he ruled over a nation 
eminently warlike in character, and amongst whom 
enmity to the cause of Christianity, and a craving for 
domination in the Mediterranean, had long become 
ruling passions. Unable, therefore, entirely to restrain 
the aggressive and warlike propensities of his subjects, 
Selim was compelled apparently to meet their views, by 
fitting out expeditions without any fixed ideas as to 
their ultimate destination. False alarms were thus, 
throughout his reign, constantly being spread, and pre- 
parations were on all sides made to resist attacks which 
the Ottoman sultan never seriously contemplated. The 
only result of the expedition which he was now prepar- 
ing, was to destroy the symmetry of the new city of 
Valetta, which, instead of being on a level platform, 
was, owing to this alarm, built upon the sloping ridge 
which constituted the natural conformation of the 
ground. Hence those interminable flights of steps which 
in the present day weary the unfortunate pedestrian, 
whilst toiling upwards under the blaze of a July sun, 
and which have invoked the metrical malediction of the 
greatest poet of modem ages.* 

• Adieu, ye joys of La Valette ! 
Adieu, scirocGO, sun, and sweat ! 
Adieu, ye cursed streets of stairs ! 
How surely he who mounts you swears ! — Byron. 


La Valette had not progressed far with his new city, 
before the want of funds began to make itself seriously 
felt. He had received promises of large amounts, but 
those pledges were but very tardily fulfilled ; and the 
funds upon which he counted from his own fraternity, 
could only be paid in by annual instalments, as the 
revenues of the various commanderies fell due. Under 
these difficulties he decided on a measure, the successful 
workingof which proved how high the credit of the Order 
for prompt and faithful payment stood in the eyes of the 
inhabitants generally. He caused a large quantity of 
copper money to be coined, bearing a fictitious value 
far above that which it was intrinsically worth. These 
coins bore upon one side the symbol of two hands 
clasped in friendship, and on the obverse, the motto 
" Non a3s sed fides," Not money, but trust. This money 
was freely taken by the artificers, and passed currently 
throughout the island for its nominal value ; and the 
Order faithfully redeemed the trust which had been 
reposed in them, by promptly calling in the fictitious 
coinage as they received remittances from Europe, until 
it had been entirely withdrawn from circulation. 

The first name given to the new city, and that which 
La Valette designed that it should be called, was umi- 
lissima, the humblest, but this appellation was soon 
changed to that of Valetta, after the chief under whoso 
auspices it had been commenced. Whilst the Grand- 
Master himself superintended the construction of the 
town, the fortifications by which it was to be surrounded 
were intrusted to the care of Jerome Cassan, the en- 
gineer of the Order, a Knight who had rendered himself 
celebrated for his proficiency in the art of fortification ; 
and under his fostering superintendence were com- 


menced the first of those stupendous bulwarks which 
have since rendered the city of Valetta one of the most 
impregnable fortresses of Europe. The raising of the 
ramparts, the levelling of the ground, and the tracing 
of the streets, occupied rather more than a year ; and 
after these preliminary works had been executed under 
the direct auspices, and at the expense of the Order 
generally, private individuals were encouraged and in- 
vited to erect houses within the space allotted for that 
purpose. As an incentive to member* of the fraternity 
to join in the work, it was expressly decreed, that any 
Knight building for himself a house within the limits of 
Valetta, was to be permitted the privilege of disposing 
of it by will at his death ; a concession not enjoyed by 
him with regard to the remainder of his property. 
This privilege induced a vast number of Knights to 
erect for themselves mansions in the new city, and 
many of its houses show traces of having been originally 
constructed for members of the fraternity, who, not 
being permitted to marry, had no families, and conse- 
quently did not require many sleeping-rooms. In most 
of the houses of Valetta we find, that, whilst the apart- 
ments devoted to reception are spacious, lofty, and 
handsomely decorated, occupying by far the larger 
portion of the building, those intended for sleeping- 
rooms are narrow, confined, and limited in extent. 

The aged Grand-Master continued, throughout the 
brief remainder of his life, to take the same interest in the 
new city which was thus springing up under his eyes. 
But he was not permitted to spend that limited period 
in the peace and quiet to ^Yhich, by a long life of vicis- 
situdes and warfare, he had so justly entitled himself. 

In his early life he had been present at the siege of 



Rhodes under L'Isle Adam,, and had borne an honourable 
part throughout that long and desperate struggle. 
From that hour he had followed the fortunes of his 
Order through all their wanderings, and had raised 
himself step by step through all the various dignities in 
their gift, until he had eventually attained to the post of 
Grand- Master, at a moment when that office bore with 
it the fearful responsibilities of conducting the main- 
tenance of a defence against the entire strength of the 
Turkish i>ower. .Now, however, when the successful 
issue of that memorable siege had secured the Order 
from all further foreign disturbance or aggression, and 
when he might reasonably have hoped for an old age 
passed amidst the calm of universal tranquillity, there 
arose within the bosom of his own community a spirit 
of discord and faction which embittered his latest 

The general exultation, which had naturally foUovred 
upon the glorious repulse of the Turkish army, had 
gradually degcmerated into a spirit of license amongst 
the more youthful members of the fraternity, so outra- 
geous that La Valette found himself totally unable to 
restrain it. The wildest debauchery and the most 
reckless libertinism stalked rampant through the town, 
and the scandalous orgies which everywhere prevailed 
brought a foul stain upon an Order which professed a 
religious organisation, and which embraced the vow of 
chastity as one of its leading principles. In these licen- 
tious gatherings ribald songs were sung, reflecting upon 
the characters, not only of the virtuous ladies in the 
island, but even of the Grand-Master himself.* Nothing 

* A pasquinade is stated to be still in existence at Malta, although 


was too high or too sacred to be made the butt of their 
ridicule, and La Valette felt that it would be neces- 
sary to resort to the strongest measures to check this 
growing iniquity. 

A prosecution was instituted against the most noto- 
rious of the offenders, and they were summoned for 
adjudication before the general council of the Order. 
Instead, however, of attending submissively to this call, 
these insubordinate Knights rushed into the council 
chamber in tumultuous array ; and, heedless alike of 
the dignity of the meeting, and of the obedience 
which they owed to its edicts, they treated the 
entire affair with the most insulting ridicule. The pen 
was plucked from the hand of the chancellor who was 
recording their sentence ; the decrees of the council were 
destroyed, and the inkstand thrown out of window. 
They then, feeling that they had so far compromised 
themselves that they were certain of receiving the se- 
verest punishment from the stern justice of their inflex- 
ible chief, hastily made their exit from the council cham- 
ber, hurried away to the harbour, and there, seizing 
upon one of the galleys which lay at anchor, set sail for 
Sicily, and from that point made their way to their res- 
pective homes, where alone they felt that they should 
be secure from the avenging justice of their insulted 

Two murders about this time likewise contributed 
their quota to the anxieties and distress of La Valette. 
In one case his own private secretary was shot in the 
street, and the perpetrator of the foul act remained 

the author has not been enabled to procure a sight of it, in which 
the lieroic La Valelte is accused of cowardice, and of hiding himself 
behind a beam during one of the assaults upon the post of Castile. 

M 2 


undetected and unpunished. In the other, a Florentine 
gentleman, who had been married to a lady, the daugh- 
ter of one of the original settlers from Rhodes, stabbed 
his wife in an access of jealousy, and afterwards suc- 
ceeded in making his escape from the island. This event 
caused a most unpleasant feeling amongst the Rhodian 
colonists, and added much to the annoyance to which 
La Valette was at this time subjected. 

Meanwhile a dispute, which promised the most grave 
consequences, sprang up between the fraternity and the 
court of Rome. For many years the pontiffs who had 
successively attained to the dignity of the triple crown 
had arrogated to themselves the power of nomination to 
most of the vacant dignities in the language of Italy^ 
to the detriment of the authority of the Grand-Master and 
his council. In the first outburst of gratitude which dis- 
played itself at Rome after the successful defence of 
Malta, La Valette had succeeded in extorting from the 
Pope a pledge that the nomination to these dignities 
should in future be left to the discretion of the frater- 
nity, without interference from the court of Rome. 
This pledge, however, had no sooner been made than it 
was broken ; and La Valette found the Pope as prompt 
as ever in arrogating to himself the privilege which he 
had expressly renounced. He therefore addressed to 
his Holiness a letter of the most urgent remonstrance 
upon the subject, and also despatched an ambassador to 
the papal court, with a view to obtaining some repara- 
tion for the wrong which was being inflicted. The Pope, 
however, irritated at the tone in which the Grand- 
Master's letter was couched, — and indeed it must be ad- 
mitted that he had expressed himself in no measured 
terms on the subject of this wanton breach of faith, — was 


glad of a pretext to avoid receiving La Valette's am- 
bassador, and he therefore availed himself of the tenor 
of the obnoxious letter, as a reason for refusing to give 
him an audience; and as a further mark of his dis- 
pleasure, he dismissed him from court in disgrace. 

This marked slight, and wanton addition of insult to 
injury, deeply affected the Grand-Master and weighed 
heavily on his spirits. The accumulated discords which 
surrounded him, both from within and without, so far 
overcame the inherent firmness of the gallant old man, 
that he sank into a condition of the most painful des- 
pondency, from which he found it impossible to rouse 
himself. One day, towards the latter end of July, 
anxious to distract his mind from the anxieties which 
preyed upon him, he started on a hawking party in the 
direction of St. Paul's Bay. The sun, which at this 
season of the year is extremely powerful in the island 
of Malta, overcame the old man, enfeebled as he was, 
and he was brought home sufi^^ring from aU the symp- 
toms of a coup de soldi. A fierce and most virulent 
fever set in as the consequence of this unfortunate ex- 
pedition, and, after an illness of nearly a month, he died 
on the 21st of August 1568. 

His body was in the first instance placed in the 
chapel attached to the castle of St. Angelo, but four 
days later, namely, on the 25th of August, his successor 
having in the meantime been elected, a grand funeral 
cortege was formed for the transport of the corpse to a 
chapel which he had built and endowed in the city of 
Valetta, and which was dedicated to our Lady of Vic- 
tory. The body was placed upon the great galley of 
the Order, which, richly-decorated and denuded of its 
masts, was towed in solemn procession by two other 

M 3 


galleys, covered with black cloth, and bearing behind 
them the Turkish banners which had been captured 
during the late siege, and which they now trailed 
ignominiously in the water. The body having entered 
the Marsa Musceit, was there landed, and the procession 
being re-forraed by land, it was conveyed with similar 
solemnities to the place of sepulture, where it was 
lowered into its grave amidst the lamentations and re- 
grets of all who witnessed the melancholy ceremony. 

The memory of La Valette has always been held in 
the highest veneration by the succeeding generations of 
the fraternity. The Order had, during the five cen- 
turies of its existence, witnessed but few who could 
have the slightest claim to be considered his equal in 
all those qualities which should distinguish the leader 
of so powerful an institution, and most certainly none 
who could be deemed his superior. Called to the 
supreme authority at an hour of the most imminent 
danger, he proved himself fully qualified to meet the 
crisis. In his public character he earned for himself a 
reputation such as has fallen to the lot of few men to 
achieve. Stem and inflexible in character, he was 
rigidly just and honourable in all his actions. Through- 
out his long career he proved himself the terror of evil- 
doers, and the implacable foe to disorder of every 
description. By his fraternity he was feared and re- 
spected, more perhaps than he was loved ; and his cha- 
racter was such as to excite the former rather than the 
latter feeling in the minds of those over whom he held 
command. The crisis during which he was placed at 
the head of his Order, demanded a man of iron will and 
of rigid inflexibility of purpose, and in La Valette that 
man was found. So long, therefore, as the necessity 


for such qualifications continued, he was essentially the 
right man in the right place, and as such received the 
willing obedience and the warm admiration of his fra- 
ternity ; but during the last years of his life, when peace 
appeared to havel^een once more secured to the convent, 
that austerity was no longer recognised as a virtue on 
his part, and at the time of his death there were not a 
few who, having felt the rigid exactness of his rule 
most irksome, hailed the event as a relief, and though 
outwardly mourning for the loss of one who had proved 
so brilliant an ornament to his Order, were at heart not 
ill pleased to look forward to the prospect of a new 
chief, whose governance might prove less rigid and 

The decease of La Valette having been anticipated 
for some weeks before it actually took place, various 
intrigues had been set on foot with reference to the 
election of his successor. La Valette had himself 
named Antonio de Toledo, the grand-prior of Castile, 
as in his opinion the most worthy successor to his 
office ; but the cabal of two grand-crosses, named La 
Motte and Maldonat, secured the election of the grand- 
admiral Peter de Monte, of the language of Italy. 
The lengthened services of this Knight had fully 
entitled him to the favourable consideration of the 
electors, and it appears somewhat strange that he should 
not have been named by La Valette in preference to 
the Knight already mentioned. Like the late chief, he 
had in his youth served at the siege of Rhodes under 
L'Isle Adam, and had, after that event, established for 
himself a high reputation by his naval exploits. The 
Pope, in consideration of his services against the Infidel, 
had nominated him governor of the castle of St. Angelo 

M 4 


at Rome. He had subsequently been raised to the post 
of general of the galleys by the fraternity, and had 
eventually reached the dignity of grand-admiral as the 
head of the language of Italy. It was whilst holding 
this office that he was selected by La -Valette to under- 
take the defence of the peninsula of Senglea during 
the late siege, and his services in that post were so 
brilliant as to have placed him, in the general opinion 
of his fraternity, as second only to La Valette. At 
the conclusion of the siege he had been sent as an am- 
bassador to Rome, when the Pope, as a mark of respect 
for his brilliant services and grey hairs, would not per- 
mit him to kneel in his presence, as was customary at 
the reception of ambassadors. 

He had not long occupied the post of Grand-Mastcr 
before he perceived that the two Knights through whose 
influence he had succeeded in his election, desired to 
make him a tool in their hands for the acquisition of 
such dignities as he might have it within his power to 
bestow. De Monte was not disposed to submit himself 
to such dictation, and yet, at the same time, he felt that 
a certain consideration was due to those who had placed 
him in the magisterial chair. In order, therefore, to 
free himself from their claims without committing any 
act of ingratitude, he nominated one his ambassador at 
Rome, and the other he made grand-prior of Spain. 

Being thus freed from tlie troublesome dictation of 
his friends, he occupied himself in carrying on those 
reforms which La Valette had commenced. The new 
city of Valetta progressed, under his auspices, even 
more rapidly than it had done during the rule of his 
predecessor; and on the 18th of March 1571, he moved 
the convent from its original habitation in the Bourg 


into the new city. This event was celebrated with 
great magnificence, and may be considered as marking 
the date when the city of Valetta was first inhabited. 
It was, however, even at that time, in a very unfinished 
state ; and the palace in which the Grand-Master resided 
was as yet only a wooden building, containing a hall 
and two inner rooms. 

Under his fostering care the navy of the Order was 
raised to a strength far exceeding what it had attained 
for many years. In order to stimulate a spirit of enter- 
prise amongst the fraternity, De Monte gave permission 
to such members of the Order as might desire to avail 
themselves of it, to undertake cruising expeditions on 
their own responsibility, and for their own benefit. 
This permission was taken advantage of to a great ex- 
tent, and many Knights returned from their cruises 
against the corsairs laden with booty. In the midst of 
these partial successes, however, a disaster occurred 
which at the time threw great disgrace upon the fair 
fame of the fraternity. The general of the galleys, 
named St. Clement, whilst in command of four vessels 
laden with provisions, was overtaken by the Tunisian 
corsair Ucciali. The Maltese commander did not on 
this occasion display that firmness and bravery which 
might have been expected from a member of his Order; 
but, two of his vessels having been captured, he ran the 
one in which he himself was aground, and having 
reached the shore, fled ignominiously. In this unfor- 
tunate engagement sixty-two Knights perished ; and St. 
Clement no sooner presented himself at Malta, than he 
was brought before the council to answer for his con- 
duct during the fatal aff^ray. The evidence adduced too 
clearly proved his cowardice on the occasion, and the 


public indignation ran so high against the unfortunate 
Knight, that, after having been stripped of his habit, he 
was handed over to the secular power for further pun- 
ishment. By their decree he was strangled in his prison, 
and his body, enclosed in a sack, was thrown into the 
sea. Such was the stern award decreed for those who 
disgraced their fraternity by any exhibition of cowardice 
in the face of the enemy. 

The year 1571 was marked by the glorious victory 
which the combined Christian fleet gained over the 
Turks at the battle of Lepanto. In this action only 
three Maltese galleys were present, commanded by 
Pietro Justiniani ; the whole expedition, which consisted 
of 210 galleys, besides numerous other smaller vessels, 
being under the command of Don John of Austria. The 
action was fought on the 7th of October, and, after a 
desperate struggle, ended in the complete rout of the 
Ottoman fleet. One hundred and forty galleys were 
captured, many others were destroyed, and the slaughter 
of their crews reached the almost fabulous total of 32,000 
men. The results of this great victory were so marked 
that the naval power of the Turks in the Mediterranean 
was for many years completely annihilated. 

De Monte had in his last years felt himself so oppressed 
by the responsibilities of his office, that he earnestly be- 
sought the Pope to permit him to resign the dignity into 
other hands. Pius V., however, would not consent to this 
request, and the Grand-Master was compelled most un- 
willingly to retain his post until his death, which oc- 
curred on the 27th of January 1572, when he had 
attained the age of seventy-six years. 

It was during his brief rule, that the convent of 
Hospitaller ladies at Sixena became once more united 


to the Order of St, John, This establishment, which 
was situated at Sixena, a small town midway between 
Saragossa and Lerida, had been founded by Sancha, 
daughter of Alphonso IL, king of Aragon. Her 
mother, also called Sancha, sumamed the Chaste, had 
previously founded a convent of noble ladies of the 
Order of St. John, at the time when the loss of Palestine 
had deprived them of their homes. The estublishment 
at Sixena was formed on a scale of princely magnificence, 
and resembled a palace rather than a religious house. 
Sixty noble young ladies of the kingdoms of Aragon 
and Catalonia were admitted into this royal convent, 
without being required to pay any dower; and the 
munificence of its foundress and the kings of Aragon, 
soon raised it to a high position. It was subjected by 
Pope Celestin III. to the rules of the Augustin Order; 
and the ladies wore a scarlet robe, with a black mantle, 
bearing the white eight-pointed cross of the Order, and 
in honour of their royal foundress they each carried a 
silver sceptre during divine service. For many years 
the institution remained associated with the Order of 
St. John, acknowledging the Grand-Master as their 
superior, and the prioress of the convent took her seat 
at all provincial chapters of the Order, next in rank to 
the castellan of Emposta. Towards the close of the 
fifteenth century, they withdrew their allegiance from 
the Order of St. John, and placed themselves under the 
direct authority of the Pope. This secession lasted 
until the reign of De Monte, when, in 1569, Hieronyma 
d'Olibo, then grand-prioress of the convent, with the 
consent of her nuns, signified her desire to become once 
more attached to the Order; and her request being 
acceded to^ the schism was brought to a close ; and from 


that date, the nuns of Sixena annually presented a silver 
vase to the convent at Malta, in token of fealty. 

The death of De Monte having left the office of Grand- 
Master vacant, it was filled by the election of John 
L'Ev^ue de La Cassi^re, chief of the language of 
Auvergne, and grand-marshal of the Order. The rule 
of this Knight was a scene of turbulence and confusion 
from beginning to end. Although a man of the most 
dauntless bravery, and one who had by many gallant 
actions gained for himself a very high reputation among 
his comrades, he was, by the arrogance of his temper, 
and the violence and obstinacy of his character, but ill 
suited for the high dignity of chief of the Order. Ere 
long he had involved himself in so many disputes, and 
had created such a host of enemies, that the island was 
throAvn into a state of the utmost confusion. 

An altercation which he had with the bishop of Malta, 
touching the extent of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of 
the latter, led to the introduction into Malta of an 
accredited member of the holy Inquisition, who, under 
the title of grand-inquisitor, became ever afterwards a 
fruitful source of discord and uneasiness to future 
Grand-Masters. He had been originally despatched in 
consequence of an appeal made by La Cassi^re against 
the bishop to Pope Gregory XIII. Differences had 
often, prior to this, sprung up between the heads of the 
Order of St. John and the bishops of Malta. The 
ecclesiastical functions and powers of the latter had 
never been very clearly defined, and were often the 
cause of a collision between himself and the head of the 
government. The intervention of the grand-inquisitor, 
however, so far from alleviating this evil, added yet 
another most fertile source of discord to those already 


existing. Instead of two, there were now three heads 
in the island ; and, although both the bishop and the 
inquisitor nominally acknowledged the supremacy of 
the Grand-Master, yet by their acts they almost inva- 
riably proved that that acknowledgment was more 
nominal than real. 

At the time when this new ecclesiastical authority 
was first despatched to Malta, the Pope had, at the re- 
quest of the council, directed that he was not to act 
independently ; but that in all matters affecting church 
discipline a tribunal was to be formed, in which he was 
to be associated with the Grand-Master, the vice-chan- 
cellor, the bishop, and the prior of the church. It was 
not long, however, before the ambition of the grand- 
inquisitor, supported as he was by the Pope, gradually 
usurped for himself an independent and separate tribunal 
within the island. In order to extend his authority, 
and to free it from all control on the part of the Grand- 
Master, the inquisitor adopted the following method, 
Any Maltese who desired to free himself from his alle- 
giance to the Grand-Master was given a patent, issued 
from the office of the inquisitor, by which he became a 
direct subject of the Inquisition, and was no longer 
liable to any of the secular tribunals of the island. The 
bishop of Malta, in his turn, gradually adopted a similar 
measure, and by a simple tonsure freed even laymen 
from all other control • than his own. These abuses did 
not of course spring into full vigour all at once, but 
they gradually became so glaring that it appeared as 
though the Grand-Master would eventually lose all 
authority in the island of which he was the nominal 

Whilst La Cassifere was contending with these rival 


functionaries, the external relations of his government 
were at the same time giving him much cause for un- 
easiness. A dispute which broke out with the republic 
of Venice, upon the subject of the property of some 
Venetian Jews which had been seized by the cruisers of 
the Order, very nearly led to the entire confiscation of 
their property within the territories of the republic, and 
was only accommodated by the most ample concessions 
and complete reparation on the part of La Cassiere. 
Another source of dispute arose from the nomination of 
the archduke Winceslas of Austria, through the interest 
of the king of Spain, to the grand-priory of Castile and 
Leon, and the bailiwick of Lora, immediately on his 
being received into the fraternity. Remembering the 
powerful assistance which the king of Spain had in- 
variably accorded to the Order, it would have been 
difficult for the council to have refused any request pre- 
ferred by him. Still this wholesale appropriation of the 
leading dignities in the language of Castile naturally 
gave the greatest possible dissatisfaction to the Knights 
of that language, and a sedition sprang up, which was 
only quelled by the interposition of the Pope. The in- 
surgent Knights were, by his sentence, condemned to 
present themselves before the Grand-Master in council, 
with wax tapers in their hands, and there publicly to 
ask pardon for their turbulent behaviour. 

The insubordination, however, which had once broken 
out was not to be quelled by a mere decree from the 
papal court ; nor was the conduct of La Cassiere during 
these troublous times such as to conciliate the fraternity, 
or to restore a spirit of obedience into their ranks. His 
arrogance and haughty bearing only rendered matters 
worse, and multiplied the number of his enemies, until, 


in the year 1581, the mutinous spirit once more showed 
itself openly. The Knights of the Spanish language 
had long been jealous of the influence which the nu- 
merical superiority of the French had invariably given 
them, and in this discontent they were joined by the 
Italians and Germans. They now plotted for the depo- 
sition of La Cassi^re and the elevation of a member of 
their own language in his place. In order to veil their 
real designs they intrigued with a French Knight named 
Rom^gas, who by his great personal valour had raised 
himself high in the estimation of the Order, and had 
gained the dignities of prior of Toulouse and general 
of the galleys. Being of a very ambitious temperament, 
he was seduced from his allegiance under the idea that 
he would gain the appointment from which they pur- 
posed deposing La Cassi^re. 

Among the many causes for dissatisfaction which they 
alleged against their chief was one which showed the 
extreme demoralisation of the younger members of the 
Order. La Cassi^re, Avith a view to checking the open 
and gross licentiousness then prevalent within the city, 
had issued an edict banishing all women of loose 
character from the city of Valetta and the casals in its 
immediate vicinity. That this decree should have been 
publicly made the subject of a grievance marks that a 
very low tone of morality must at that time have been 
prevalent amongst the members of the Hospital. 

All being at length ripe for the movement, the muti- 
neers openly declared themselves, and held a public 
council, in which they decreed that the Grand-Master 
was, owing to his great age and infirmities, unable to 
continue in the active exercise of his functions ; and 
they therefore proposed that he should be called upon 


to nominate a lieutenant to assist him in his duties. 
La Cassiere, who, although an aged man, still retained 
the full vigour of his intellects, rejected this proposition 
with the utmost disdain ; upon which the mutineers 
re-assembled, and, taking the law into their own hands, 
nominated Rom^gas to the post of lieutenant. By 
selecting a French Knight for the oflSce they evaded the 
suspicion which would have attached to their proceed- 
ings had they chosen a member of their own language, 
and seduced a considerable number of French Knights 
to join their cabal. Not content with this act, they 
once again assembled, and decreed that La Cassifere 
should be placed in close confinement within the fort of 
St. Angelo. This resolution was no sooner passed than 
it was carried into eflfect, and the aged Grand-Master, 
surrounded by his rebellious brethren, was conveyed 
through the streets as a criminal to his place of im- 
prisonment. During this journey he was assailed with 
the bitterest invectives and the grossest abuse, not only 
by the Knights, but also by the audacious prostitutes 
who had, by his decree, been banished from the city, 
and who, on the subversion of his authority, had once 
more flocked thither in great numbers. 

These turbulent proceedings had been insidiously 
fomented by the king of Spain, who, in order to sup- 
port the mutineers, had despatched a fleet to Malta, 
ostensibly for the purpose of protecting the island 
against a Turkish invasion, but in reality to render 
assistance in the dispute then raging. An appeal was 
made to the Pope, both by the insurgents and the 
Grand-Master, the latter of whom likewise notified his 
situation to the French ambassador at Rome. The 
greatest indignation was there excited against the pro- 


ceedings of the Spaniards ; and the Pope instantly des- 
patched an envoy to Malta to prosecute an inquiry into 
the causes of the insurrection. The French king also 
took up the matter warmly, and on his side directed his 
ambassador to see the Grand-Master righted, and to 
thwart the intrigues of the Spanish faction. 

The papal envoy, Visconti, no sooner reached Malta 
than he commenced an investigation into the causes and 
results of the cabal. He had received orders from his 
holiness to reinstate La Cassi^re in his dignities, pro- 
vided he found that that step could be taken without 
endangering the public tranquillity ; but a very brief 
insight into the state of popular feeling at Malta led 
Visconti to perceive that such a measure would be 
fraught with the greatest possible danger. He there- 
fore contented himself vnth securing the liberation of 
the incarcerated chief, and summoning him, as well as 
the malcontent leaders, to Rome, that the dispute might 
be settled by the pontiff in person. He also succeeded, 
after some altercation, in inducing the Spanish fleet to 
quit the island, and to leave the settlement of the ques- 
tion entirely in the hands of the Pope. 

The entry of La Cassiere into Rome, which took 
place on the 26th of October, was attended with great 
pomp ; and Gregory seemed determined to mark, by 
the magnificence and cordiality of his reception, the 
sense he entertained of the treatment to which the 
aged chief had been subjected. Rom^gas, on the other 
hand, was treated with such studied neglect that his 
ambitious and proud spirit sank beneath the blow, and 
he died, on the 4th of November, of a fever produced by 
the agitation of his mind. The Pope decreed the im- 
mediate restoration of the Grand- Master to his dignity, 



but at the same time privately cautioned him to act 
with greater moderation in his governance of the fra- 
ternity entrusted to his charge. 

La Cassi^re, however, did not survive to resume the 
active duties of his station. The cares and anxieties of 
the last year had proved too much for his aged frame, 
and he died at Rome, on the 21st of December 1581, at 
the age of seventy-eight years. During his rule the 
church of St. John the Baptist was built in the new 
city of Valetta, and became the conventual church of 
the Order. The expense of its construction was en- 
tirely defrayed by La Cassi^re out of his magisterial 
revenue ; and he further endowed it with an annual 
stipend of a thousand crowns. The simplicity of the 
exterior of this building is by no means consonant with 
the beauty and magnificence of its interior, being totally 
devoid of all architectural pretensions. The portal, 
however, once passed, the eye is greeted with a mass of 
internal decoration that marks a most lavish expendi- 
ture on the part of many succeeding generations of the 
fraternity. By a decree of the first general chapter, 
held after the erection of St. John's church, a chapel 
was assigned within its precincts to each language. 
These chapels form the aisles to the very extensive nave, 
and are filled with the most elaborate monuments of 
the several Grand-Masters, erected in their memory 
by the members of their various languages. The pave- 
ment of the entire church is one of the most beautiful 
specimens of mosaic work in Europe, and is composed 
of an uninterrupted succession of monumental records, 
to the memory of the most celebrated amongst the 
bailiffs, grand-crosses, and commanders. This pave- 


ment glistens with an endless variety of divers coloured 
marbles, emblazoned throughout with the arras and 
heraldic insignia of the illustrious deceased ; jasper and 
agate, with other stones of an equally valuable cha- 
racter, being plentifully intermixed. The treasury was 
enriched with numerous costly gifts in gold and silver, 
the quinquennial offerings of the Grand-Master and 
other leading dignitaries. In addition to the magnifi- 
cent reliquary, enclosing the hand of St. John, there 
were statues in solid silver of the Twelve Apostles, an 
exquisite gold cup, presented by Henry VIII. to L'l&le 
Adam, the sword and poinard given to La Yalette by 
Philip of Spain, numberless crosses and censers in gold 
and silver, together with several gigantic candelabra of 
the latter metal. The chapel of the Virgin was hghted 
with a lamp of solid gold, suspended by a ponderous 
chain of the same metal ; and several of the altars were 
richly decorated in the same costly manner. Beneath 
this church La Cassi^re caused a crypt to be constructed, 
into which he transferred the bodies of L'Isle Adam 
and La Yalette, and it is in that vault that their 
venerated remains now rest, beneath two handsome 
monuments which he caused to be erected to their 
memories. It had been his intention in constructing 
this crypt that his own corpse should be interred by the 
side of those heroes who had reflected so much glory on 
the title of Grand-Master ; but his death so far from 
Malta appeared at first to render it likely that his wish 
would not be accomplished. The body was deposited 
within the church of St. Louis, until its place of ulti^ 
mate destination should be decided; and when at 
length it was transported to Malta for interment in the 

H 2 


site originally intended for it, the heart, which had 
b^n removed and embalmed, was retained at Rome, 
and is still preserved there. 

The death of La Cassi^re was no sooner notified to 
the Pope than he despatched a mandate to the council 
at Malta prohibiting any steps from being taken, in the 
election of a successor, until they should have received 
further instructions from him. He designed, in fact, 
to take the nomination entirely into his own hands, con- 
sidering that, as head of the Order, and as the late 
Grand-Master had died within the limits of his own 
immediate jurisdiction, he should be entitled to that pre- 
rogative. He decided eventually, however, on pursuing 
a middle course, and despatched a Knight, entrusted 
with two briefs and full instructions to guide him in 
the conduct of the affair. The Knight having arrived 
at Malta, presented one of his briefs to the council, in 
which the Pope averred that the peculiar circumstances 
attending the death of the late Grand- Master had left 
him the right to nominate a successor to the vacant 
dignity ; but that from friendship for the Order, he 
waived his claim to the privilege, and desired that the 
election should proceed in the usual manner. The 
languages were therefore convoked according to custom, 
but, as soon as the electors had been nominated, the 
nuncio presented his second brief, which simply re- 
stricted their powers to the selection of one out of three 
candidates whom he named ; and who were, Chabrillan, 
bailiff of Manosque ; Verdala, the grand-commander ; 
and Panissa, grand-prior of St. Gilles. The Papal 
mandate, irregular and unauthorised though it was, 
received no opposition, and Hugh Loubenx de Verdala 
was elected to the vacancy. 


Although the death of La Cassi^re had brought to a 
close the dispute of which he was the subject, the king 
of France, well aware that the sedition had originally 
sprung from an ambitious motive on the part of the 
Spanish and Portuguese languages, fomented and en. 
couraged by the king of Spain, directed his ambassador 
at the court of Rome to insist that the memory of the 
late Grand- Master should be vindicated from the asper- 
sions with which it had been so wrongfully assailed. 
With this request the Pope complied, and nominated a 
commission, consisting of five cardinals and some of the 
principal lay officials in Rome, to investigate the accu- 
sations brought against La Cassiere by Rom^gas and 
his party. Visconti, the Papal nuncio, having returned 
to Rome from Malta with the results of the investiora- 
lion which he had there conducted, the congress gave 
their judgment that the accusations against the late 
Grand-Master were malicious and unfounded ; that all 
the proceedings taken against him were, from their 
manifest injustice, to be annulled ; and that he was to 
be considered as honourably acquitted of all the crimes 
alleged against him. They at the same time decreed 
that the members of the Order did not possess the 
power of deposing their chiefs ; that authority being 
vested in the Pope alone. On the 3rd of September 
1582, this sentence, having been ratified by his holiness, 
was published in the consistory, and thus closed the 
schism which had created so great a disturbance within 
the island of Malta. 

The character of Verdala was eminently suited to 
the temper of the period which had witnessed his 
elevation. Gentle and mild in character, afiable in 
demeanour, and an earnest lover of peace and concord, 

» 3 

182 A HISTORY or 

he strove hard to soften the asperities which recent 
events had created, and to reconcile those differences 
which still retained a spirit of disunion within the con- 
vent. In this, however, he was not very successftil. 
During the whole of his career as Grand-Maister, — a 
period of thirteen years, — he was constantly disturbed 
and harassed by the cabals which were for ever being 
fomented against him. No amount of conciliation on 
his part suflaced to appease the angry feelings which 
had been aroused ; and every decree which his sense of 
justice compelled him to promulgate was cavilled at, and 
made the subject of seditious opposition. 

In 1587 the grand-marshal Sacconai dared to rescue 
from the hand of justice, by open force, one of his 
valets, who had been arrested on a charge of theft, 
and the punishment which this audacious act on his 
part brought down upon him at the hands of his out- 
raged chief, created such a ferment within the convent 
that Verdala deemed it necessary to proceed in person 
to Rome, and request the intervention, of the Pope 
against his mutinous subjects. He was received with 
every mark of respect by Sextus V., who, in order to 
mark his sense of the undeserved opposition which had 
been excited against him, presented him with a cardinal's 
hat, trusting that this accession of dignity would induce 
the turbulent fraternity to receive their chief with greater 
respect. These expectations were not however realised, 
and the unfortunate Verdala, harassed beyond endurance 
by their factious conduct, once more returned to Rome, 
where he expired on the 4th of May 1595. It was during 
his reign, in the year 1592, that Gargallo, Bishop of Malta, 
in order to strengthen his power, and to gain additional 
support in the constant warfare which he maintained 


against the authority of the Grand-Master, summoned thu 
Jesuits to Malta, where they established themselves, and 
in their turn endeavoured to form a separate jurisdiction 
of their own. Malta was from this moment doomed to 
witness the extraordinary and most pernicious spectacle 
of four distinct religious powers, the Bishop, the Inquisi- 
tor, the Jesuits, and the Grand-Master ; a source of end- 
less disputes and jealousies which went far towards 
aggravating the discord which the rival languages of 
France and Spain maintained with the utmost obstinacy. 
Pope Gregory XIII. had already decreed that the ofl&ces of 
the prior of the church, and of the bishop of Malta, were 
to be held exclusively by the conventual chaplains, and 
that no Knight of Justice was ever to be preferred to 
either of those dignities. As mo^it of the chaplains of 
the Order were Maltese, and as members of this nation 
had no opportunity of attaining to the dignities mono- 
polised by the Knights, this decree was received by them 
with the greatest favour, as it reserved to their own 
body two of the leading offices in the gift of the frater- 
nity ; nor were the Knights themselves averse to the 
measure, since they perceived how far its adoption would 
go towards reconciling the Maltese to their rule. 

Yerdala has left several memorials of his sway in the 
fortifications which he constructed in the island of Gozo, 
and also by the erection of a country residence near the 
Citt^ Notabile, for the Grand-Masters who were to suc- 
ceed him, and which ever after bore his name.* Ver- 

* This tower, after the acquisition of the island by the English, 
was for some time used as a place of confinement for French prisoners 
of war ; after which it was for many years unoccupied. The present 
governor of Malta has greatly restored it, and made many additions 
to the grounds by which it is surrounded, and constantly uses it as a 

V 4 


dala was the first Grand-Master who, in addition to that 
oflSce, bore also the dignity of Turcopolier, so long 
attached peculiarly to the English language. The Pope, 
who now felt that all immediate prospect of a return of 
the English nation to an acknowledgment of his supre- 
macy was at an end, and that, as a necessary conse- 
quence, the status of that language was annihilated in 
the Order of St. John, decreed that their ancient dignity 
should for the future be joined to that of Grand-Master, 
to avoid the possibility of its being utterly lost, and to 
maintain its privileges and immunities intact for rc- 
transfer, in case the English language should ever, under 
more favourable auspices, become re-organised. This 
prospect not having been realised, the dignity remained 
ever after attached to that of the Grand-Master. This 
was also the date at which the compilation of an autho- 
rised history of the Order was entrusted to Bosio, the 
materials for the work having been collected by Anthony 
Fossan, who had died in the midst of his labour. Bosio's 
work, although very verbose, and far too tedious and 
voluminous for the general reader, is nevertheless a con- 
scientious and trustworthy compilation, so far as the 
author had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with 
the details of the subject upon which he wrote, and will 
always prove most valuable as a work of reference to the 
student of the history of the Order of St. John. The 
author was nephew to the Anthony Bosio whose able 
services as a negotiator, prior to the siege of Rhodes 

summer residence, forwhich it is admirably adapted, the temperature 
being far cooler than in Yaletta^ and the air infinitely purer and 
more bracing. In its immediate vicinity is the Boschetto, a grove, 
which, owing to the general absence of trees in the island, is much 
prised by the inhabitants. 


under L'Isle Adam, and during the subsequent wander- 
ings of the fraternity, have been already detailed in a 
former portion of this work. 

The successor of Verdala, whose name was Martin 
Garces, Castellan of Emposta, was a man of seventy 
years of age at the time of his election, and his brief rule 
of six years was marked by no event of importance, 
peace having been re-established within the convent, and 
its foreign relations being at the same time most satisfac* 
tory. His death, which occurred on the 6th of February 
1601, closed a century in the annals of the Order which 
had been marked by a brilliant succession of deeds, re- 
flecting imperishable renown upon the fraternity. From 
the year 1476, when Peter d'Aubusson was first called 
to the supreme dignity, till the last years of the century 
which had just expired, the Order had maintained itself 
with a dignity and success such as, with all its glorious 
achievements, it had never previously attained. Within 
that time it had twice successfully resisted the whole 
strength of the Ottoman empire when arrayed against 
it, and even on the third occasion, though driven from 
the island of Rhodes, they had gained for themselves as 
ample a meed of glory as though they had remained 
masters of the field. During this golden period of their 
existence they had witnessed the rule of three chiefs 
whose names will descend to posterity as amongst the 
noblest heroes which the age has produced. History 
cannot, during that century, point to one who has at- 
tained a more wide-spread reputation than that which 
has attached itself to the illustrious triumvirate of the 
Hospital, Peter d'Aubusson, Villiers L'Isle Adam, and 
John de la Valette. That age had, however, now passed 
away, and though during the two centuries through 


which the Order yet struggled, they could boast of many 
a chief whose talents in the council-chamber, and whose 
skill in administration, were of no mean order, still the 
vigour of their former days was evidently lost, and the 
deeds of these latter times will bear no comparison with 
those that had gone before. The institution may be 
said to have passed through its youth, and the last 
glorious century has not inaptly been considered as the 
prime of its manhood. What yet remains to tell of its 
political history must equally be considered as its old 
age and gradual decline, until eventually it sunk into 
annihilation from the mere effects of inanition. 





Befoke entering into the political history of the Order 
of St. John for the two last centuries of its existence, 
a period marked by but few events of general import- 
ance, and which may consequently be glanced at with 
greater rapidity than would have been advisable in the 
previous ages, it will be well to pause awhile, and enter 
with rather more minute detail into the general orga- 
nisation of the institution and its social habits and 

The Order of St. John, though under the sway of 
a Grand-Master, partook, in its political character, 
rather of the nature of an aristocratic republic than of 
a monarchy. Very little of the actual control of govern- 
ment was left in the hands of the Grand- Master alone ; 
all legislative powers being vested solely in the general 
chapter, and all executive functions appertaining to the 
council, over which the Grand-Master presided, and in 
which he possessed the privilege of two votes, with an 


additional casting vote in any case of equal division. 
Whilst, however, his powers were thus jealously limited 
by the constitution of the Order, he practically exercised 
more influence in the legislation of his fraternity than 
would at first sight appear possible. No subject of de- 
bate could be introduced into the council unless by 
the Grand-Master, or his lieutenant; nor was any enact- 
ment of that body valid till it had received his sanction. 
He was thus enabled to exclude, even from discussion, 
any measure to which he was opposed; and as the 
council consisted of grand- crosses, whose nomination 
lay in his gift, he could at any time, by making fresh 
creations, secure a majority by which to pass whatever 
measures he should think fit to submit for their deli- 

The position and powers of the Grand-Mastership 
had gradually become much changed and enlarged 
from what had been contemplated in the first years of 
•the Order's existence. Peter Gerard, who is commonly 
called the First Master of the Hospital, was nothing 
more than the superior of a monastic institution, of 
but little consideration, and less wealth ; and he occu- 
pied much the same post as an abbot in a second-class 
monastery. The position of his successor, Raymond du 
Puy, became somewhat changed, and the dignity of his 
oflSce materially extended. Much wealth had poured 
into the coffers of the institution, and extensive terri- 
torial possessions, in most of the countries of Europe, 
had materially increased the consideration in which the 
Order was held, and had consequently tended to raise 
the social and political status of its head. The change 
which Du Puy introduced into the Order by giving it a 
military character, and thus constituting it a most im- 


portant auxiliary to the feeble and tottering monarchy 
of Jerusalem, added much to the political importance 
of the Master. He was no longer a monk, and the 
superior of a body of monks, available only for ecclesi- 
astical and charitable duties, but he was the leader of a 
chosen body of warriors ; a corps which comprised 
within its ranks all that was knightly and noble. It 
was impossible that the chief of such a fraternity should 
fail to hold, in a military kingdom, a very different 
position from that of the cowled monk who had preceded 
him ; and ere Raymond du Puy brought his lengthened 
sway to a close, he found the Master of the Hospital — 
essential as he and his brotherhood were to the very 
existence of the kingdom — a personage of no mean 
importance, consulted and courted by the monarch, 
and treated with the most deferential respect by his 

As time rolled on, and grant after grant was made to 
the Order, its wealth, numbers, and political considera- 
tion increased, until, in the later days of the unfortunate 
kingdom, the respective chiefs of the Hospital and the 
Temple occupied the highest position in the state, next 
to the monarch himself. It was in these times that the 
simple rank of Master was exchanged for the more 
ambitious and high-sounding title of Grand*Master. 
The change was in itself of trivial importance, but it 
marks the gradual advance which the office had made 
in social distinction. 

The expulsion of the Order from Palestine, and its 
retirement to Cyprus, appeared at first likely to reduce, 
if it did not utterly annihilate, its political importance, 
and consequently that of its head ; and for some years 
its fate, whether for good or evil, hung in the balance. 


The bold and saccessful conceptions of Villaret deter- 
mined the doubtful question in favour of the Order ; and 
from this moment we find the Grand-Master occupying 
a far more important position than even in the most 
palmy days of Christian domination in the East. The 
acquisition of the island of Rhodes, without divesting 
him of any of the prestige which, as head of a powerful 
military fraternity, had fallen to his lot, had given 
him the dignity and privileges of a sovereign prince. 
Though his territories were but small, and his subjects 
but few in number, the military colony at Rhodes was 
far from unimportant. The powerful navy which the 
Knights of Rhodes rapidly established, and with which 
they scoured the Levant, to the great dread and hin- 
drance of the Ottoman pirates, with which those waters 
had always swarmed^ rendered such valuable assistanoe 
to the commerce and general interests of Europe, that 
the fraternity, ere long, raised themselves to a position in 
public estimation far more elevated than that which they 
had occupied in the East ; and the Grand-Master, sove- 
reign prince as he was, entered into communication 
with the various courts of Europe very much on a 
position of equality. 

The transfer of the convent to Malta, and the terrors 
generally inspired by the acquisitions of the Algerine 
corsairs upon the northern shores of Africa, enhlinced 
this consideration. The island of Malta, garrisoned by 
the redoubtable Knights of St. John, became an ad- 
vanced post and bulwark of Christianity. Sicily and 
Italy were protected from the aggression of the Infidel by 
this insular barrier, and both the Pope and the Spanish 
monarch, feeling the importance of the services thus 
rendered, invariably tendered the right hand of friend- 


ship to the ruler of that island, and treated him with a 
consideration which his position would scarcely have 
otherwise warranted. 

Having thus assumed sovereign functions and dig- 
nities, we find that he also, by degrees, surrounded 
himself with much of the state usually accompanying 
the assumption of royalty. In order to enable him to 
do this with becoming dignity, a revenue was attached 
to the office, which, during the last century of its ex- 
istence, amounted to upwards of 40,000Z. a year. This 
revenue was derivable from the following sources : — 

1st. In every grand priory one commandery was set 
apart for the exclusive benefit of the Grand-Master, and 
was called the magisterial commandery. He was en- 
titled to nominate any Knight he might choose to select, 
without reference to seniority, as commander of this 
property, and its revenues were appropriated to the 
Grand-Master for the first two years, and a pension 
therefrom afterwards. 

2nd. He was entitled to one nomination to a com-' 
mandery in every grand-priory once in five years ; and 
the first year's revenue of the newly-appointed com- 
mander, termed an annate, was paid to him. 

3rd. He received the custom-house duties and certain 
excise and stamp duties, amounting on the whole to 
nearly 20,000Z. a year. 

4thly. He was paid from the public treasury the 
amount of 600/. a year for his table, and 20/. a year 
for the maintenance of his palace. 

The election of a Grand- Master always took place on 
the third day after the demise of his predecessor. The 
reason for this expedition was that the Pope assumed 
to hhnself the right of nomination to this dignity 


whilst it remained vacant, but he did not possess that 
right after the election of a successor had once been 
duly made by the Order. He, in like manner, possessed 
the privilege of vetoing the election of any Knight, 
provided such veto was announced to the council before 
the election had been made. After that ceremony had 
been gone through, the pontiff no longer retained the 
power of disturbing the nomination, although his sanc- 
tion to the election was formally required. 

Immediately that the decease of their late chief was 
notified to the council of the Order, they at once pro- 
ceeded to nominate a lieutenant, who received the title 
of lieutenant of the mastership, in whose hands the 
governance of the Order was vested during the* inter- 
regnum. The necessary qualifications for a voter upon 
the new election were, — the member must be eighteen 
years of age ; he must have resided at the convent for 
three years, and have performed three caravans (of 
which more hereafter) ; and he must not be indebted to 
the public treasury in a larger sum than ten crowns. 
Lists of such members as had complied with these con- 
ditions were at once compiled and a£Elxed to the door 
of St. John's church for verification and general infor- 
mation. A board of three Knights was also nominated 
by the council to receive payments, on behalf of the 
treasury, from those members who were in its debt and 
who were desirous of freeing themselves from liability 
in order to participate in the coming election. 

On the third day the proceedings commenced by the 
celebration of mass in St. John's church, the whole of 
the electors being there assembled. After this ceremony 
was concluded the various languages retired into the 
respective chapels which had been dedicated to their use 



in the church, with the exception of that to which the 
lieutenant of the mastership belonged, and which re- 
mained in the body of the church. Each language 
then nominated three members from amongst them- 
selves by ballot, into whose hands they confided the 
further conduct of the election. These three members 
were all to be chosen from amongst the Knights of 
Justice, with the exception only of the bishop of Malta 
and prior of the church, who, although only appertain- 
ing to the class of conventual chaplains, were neverthe- 
less permitted, on account of the dignity of their offices, 
to join with the first class on this occasion. Should 
the lieutenant of the mastership have been named as 
one of the three electors of his language, he resigned 
the lieutenancy immediately, and the council at once 
proceeded to the nomination of another member for 
that office, it being a fundamental principle in the Order 
of St. John, that its government should never be with- 
out a duly constituted head, much on the same principle 
which has produced the saying of "The king never 
dies." It was considered necessary for the due nomi- 
nation of these electors that each should have received 
a clear fourth -part of the votes given by his language. 
Should no candidate have gained that majority the 
election was annulled, and a fresh ballot set on foot 
until the required qualification was attained.* 

* After the annihilation of the Order in England had completely 
destroyed that language in the convent, the three electors who were 
to represent the defunct tongue were usually selected in the following 
manner : — Every language, in addition to the three knights who 
were chosen as its own proper representatives, nominated a fourth to 
act for the English. The twenty-one members of th^ other seven 
languages then assembled, and selected three from amongst the seven 
candidates thus put forward to act for England. 

VOL. ir. O 


The twenty-four Knights thus selected then assembled 
together and chose from amongst themselves a president^ 
who thereupon assumed the duties of the lieutenancy of 
the mastership ; which office was from that moment 
abolished. Under his presidency, the electors then pro- 
ceeded to name what was termed the triumvirate, con- 
sisting of a Knight, a chaplain, and a serving brother, 
who, having taken the proper oaths, were invested with 
the further powers of the election, the previous twenty- 
four members retiring from the conclave. The tri- 
umvirate thereupon nominated a fourth member to join 
them. Should they be unable to come to a decision upon 
this point within an hour, they re-assembled the twenty- 
four original electors of the languages, and submitted 
the three names that they had respectively supported 
to be ballotted for by them. The fourth member being 
thus chosen took the oaths, and in concert with his 
three predecessors, nominated a fifth ; and after his 
accession a sixth was chosen, and so on, until the 
original triumvirate was swelled to the number of six- 
teen. These sixteen then elected the Grand-Master; 
and should there be an equal division of votes between 
two candidates, the Knight of the election (being the 
senior member of the triumvirate), had a casting vote. 
This weighty matter having been duly settled amongst 
themselves, the original triumvirate advanced towards 
the electors, assembled in the body of the church, and 
the Knight, having the chaplain on his right hand and 
the serving brother on his left, demanded whether they 
were prepared to ratify the nomination which had been 
made ; and the assembly having declared its approval, 
the Knight thereupon announced the name of the new 


If the individual so chosen chanced to be present, he 
immediately placed himself beneath the magisterial 
canopy and took the following oath, which was admi- 
nistered to him by the prior of the church : " I swear 
solemnly before God to observe the established and 
ancient laws of our Order, and to act in all state affairs 
by the advice of the members of the council, so help me 
God." He then received the homage of all present, and 
was carried in triumphal procession to the palace. The 
complete council, a day or two afterwards, was convoked, 
and invested their new chief with the sovereignty of the 
islands of Malta and Gozo. An old custom had given 
up the house of the deceased Grand-Master to public 
pillage. Of later years this concession had been found 
most inconvenient and objectionable, and its disuse had 
been purchased by an issue from the treasury, to every 
member of the Order, of the sum of three crowns upon 
the accession of a new Grand-Master. 

The statutes of the Order are very particular in de- 
fining the obedience to be rendered to their chief by the 
members of the fraternity. After having, in a flowery 
preamble, laid down the main proposition " That every 
member of the Order of Jerusalem, of whatever condition 
or quality he may be, is bound to obey the Master, for 
the love of our Saviour Jesus Christ," this doctrine is 
qualified by the next clause in the following manner : 
" Should the Superior give the brother any order which 
does not seem to him to be in accordance with the 
statutes and the customs of the fraternity, he shall be 
permitted to demand the judgment of the Court of 
Egard. It is thus that the obedience which has been 
vowed, is to be understood ; it is not to be held binding 
against the statutes and customs of the Order, which 

o 2 


the Superior is equally bound to obey ; if he breaks his 
oath, he cannot constrain the fraternity to continue 
their obedience to him." The powers of the Grand- 
Master in granting privileges, and in pardoning offenders, 
are also strictly limited by the same statute. He may 
grant members permission to go on a pilgrimage, to dine 
in private at their own houses, to leave the convent, to 
bestow the habit of the Order, to assemble the languages, 
and he can also confer on the conventual bailiffs the 
power of restricting the beverage of any member to 
water. This restriction, however, having been imposed, 
it is in the power of no one save the Grand-Master 
to revoke it, after the clock has once struck. His 
powers of pardoning were limited to the time which 
may have elapsed prior to condemnation. Afterwards, it 
became necessary to obtain the sanction of the council. 
In the case of a Knight stripped of his habit for life, no 
power, short of a chapter-general, could reinstate him. 
The Grand-Master was especially permitted to commute 
the sentence of deprivation when inflicted in punish- 
ment of a duel, in which the opponent had not been 
killed or maimed, into the loss of a year's seniority or 
more, according to the circumstances of the case. 

Immediately on election the Grand-Master was bound 
to provide a leaden seal, bearing on the one side his 
effigy, and on the other the seal of the Order. This 
seal was to be used in all documents requiring his au- 
thority and attestation. Such were the principal regu- 
lations laid down in the statutes of the Order, under the 
head of the Grand-Master. 

His private household was superintended by twelve 
Knights, who held various offices in its different depart- 
ments, and over whom there ruled supreme an officer 


called the Seneschal. This dignitary acted as the ex- 
ecutive of the Grand-Master in all cases where his emi- 
nence did not choose to appear personally. He was 
commandant of the militia of the island, and in that 
capacity held an annual review of the forces under his 
orders. In time of war, two grand-crosses were ap- 
pointed to aid him in this department of his duties, 
under the title of Lieutenants-General ; but they were 
held strictly subordinate to him, and were bound to 
follow his orders implicitly. Should the Grand-Master 
at any time become afflicted with a serious illness, it 
was the duty of the Seneschal to secure his official seals, 
which he retained until either the recovery or the death 
of his chief. In the latter case, the sacrament of ex- 
treme unction was administered by him. He ranked 
amongst the grand-crosses of the Order in virtue of 
his office, even though he should not have attained to 
that dignity ; and both his table and equipage were fur- 
nished at the expense of the Grand-Master. 

Next in rank to the Seneschal, in the magisterial 
household, were the Maitre d'H6tel, the Cavalerizze 
Major, or Master of the Horse, and the Treasurer. The 
Maitre d'H6tel had the entire governance of the internal 
economy of the palace, and regulated all its ceremonies, 
the other officers receiving their orders from him. The 
Master of the Horse had, as his name implies, the entire 
control of the stable department, and was general in 
command over all the cavalry of tlie Order. No horse, 
mule, or donkey could be exported from the island 
without a written permit from him. He also had the 
duty of taking possession, on behalf of the Grand-Master, 
of all the equipages of Knights dying in Malta, which 
became the inheritance of that dignitary, and the dis* 

o 8 


posal of which was superintended by him. The Trea- 
surer had charge of the financial department: he re- 
ceived the magisterial revenues, from whatever source 
derived, and defrayed all the expenses incurred in the 

The remaining officers of the household were of an 
inferior rank to the foregoing, and consisted of the 
Chambrier Major, or principal Chamberlain ; the deputy 
Maitre d'H&tel; the under Cavalerizze; the Falconer; 
the Captain of the Guard ; the three Secretaries of 
France, Italy, and Spain ; and the deputy Maitre d'Hotel 
for the country palaces. The Chambrier Major had 
the direction and arrangement of everything apper- 
taining to the private apartments of the palace, and was 
the immediate superior of the four chamberlains, and 
the estaffiers, or footmen, all of whom received their 
orders from him, the appointments to these offices being 
in his gift. The deputy Maitre d'H6tel had the super- 
intendence of the table equipment, both for the Grand- 
Master's own private use, and also for that of such offi- 
cers and dignitaries as were accorded the privilege of a 
table in the palace. The under Cavalerizze merely acted 
as a deputy to his superior, and performed such duties 
as the latter deemed it beneath his dignity to attend to 
personally. The Falconer was intrusted with the charge 
of the strict preservation of the game in the island. No 
person was allowed the privilege of shooting without a 
written authority from him, and this permission did not 
extend either to partridges or hares, the shooting of 
which was strictly forbidden, under pain of the galleys. 
He was bound to cause the closing of the shooting 
season to be proclaimed at Easter, as also its re-opening 
at the Feast of the Magdalen. He had the charge of 


the Grand-Master's preserves, and he reared and trained 
the falcons which it was the annual custom to present 
to the kings of France, Spain, and Naples. At the com- 
mencement of the shooting season, he was directed by 
the Grand-Master to send presents of game to the 
Knights of the grand-cross, the members of the council, 
the officers of the household, and the Inquisitor. The 
duties of the Captain of the Guard are sufficiently indi- 
cated by his title. The three Secretaries of France, 
Italy, and Spain had charge of the Grand-Master's cor- 
respondence in their respective languages, all Latin 
documents falling under the cognisance of the secretary 
for Italy. The deputy Maitre d'H6tel for the country 
palaces performed precisely the same duties within his 
own district, as his colleague in the town ; but ranked as 
the junior of all the officers of the household. 

The Grand- Master had sixteen pages, who were re- 
ceived into the Order as Knights of Justice, at the age 
of twelve year^; sixteen being the lowest age at 
which a Knight could be professed under any other 
circumstances. Their term of service was three years, 
during which time they were entirely supported by their 
relations, being of no expense whatever to the Grand- 
Master ; their table even being supplied at the cost of 
the public treasury. Masters of every description were 
provided for their education, the cost of which was de- 
frayed by their friends. Although, owing to these 
arrangements, the expenses of the situation were very 
considerable, there were always a great number of can- 
didates for the post, owing to the advantages which they 
possessed in being received into the Order at such an 
early age. Their service as pages counted also towards 
the time of residence at the convent, which all members 

o 4 


of the Order were obliged to complete before they could 
become eligible for any oflSce or emolument. Two of 
these pages were in daily attendance on the Grand- 
Master, and accompanied him whenever he left the 
palace. On these occasions they received all petitions 
presented on the road, which they handed to his emi- 
nence on his return. Whenever the Grand-Master 
returned to the palace after dark, six pages lined the 
staircase with torches to light him to his apartments. 
When he dined in public they waited at table, and one 
of them performed the duties of taster. The guests 
were permitted to give them sweetmeats from the table, 
but meat, or anything savoury was strictly forbidden. 
At the Christmas and Easter feasts, the whole of the 
confectionery that was left became their perquisite, and 
was handed over to them as soon as the guests had left 
the table. During the carnival, which was always kept 
with great magnificence in Malta, these youths formed 
one of the most attractive features in the display. They 
were mounted on a car splendidly decorated, and drawn 
by six mules richly caparisoned, preceded by two trum- 
peters and a kettledrum on horseback, they themselves 
being gorgeously attired, and presenting altogether a 
very gay and showy spectacle. 

In addition to the principal officers of the palace, 
whose duties have been already described, there were 
many other knights in the service of the Grand-Master, 
who had neither the rank nor position of officers ; such 
as the four cup-bearers, and the carvers, whose number 
varied according to circumstances. The lower offices 
of the household were filled by serving brothers, and 
ranked in a difi^erent class from those which were occu- 
pied by Knights. Amongst them were the butler, who 


had charge of the plate and table equipments, and had 
perquisites from the bread, wine, and fruit served at 
table ; the keeper of the wardrobe, the four chamberlains, 
and the superintendent of country palaces, in whose 
charge was the palace of St. Antonio, and the tower at 
Boschetto, called Monte Verdala. 

The ceremonial of the table, when the Grand-Master 
dined in public, was observed with the greatest possible 
nicety; the grandest occasions being the festivals of 
Christmas and Easter. The private invitations to these 
feasts were issued two days beforehand by one of the 
chamberlains, but on the day itself the principal maitre 
d'h6tel gave a public invitation during the celebration 
of high mass in St. John's Church. For this purpose he 
came into the body of the church, immediately after the 
offertory, bearing in his hand the wand of his office. 
Saluting the members of council one after the other, he 
in a loud voice invited them to partake of a repast which 
the Grand-Master proposed to give on that day in honour 
of the Order. At half-past ten o'clock, or thereabouts, 
the dignitaries who had received invitations proceeded to 
the palace, and were ushered into the audience chamber, 
where the Grand-Master was in waiting to receive them. 
The dinner was placed on the table at eleven o'clock, 
and when all was in readiness the principal maitre 
d'h6tel announced the fact to his eminence, who there- 
upon rose and proceeded to the dining hall. At its en- 
trance the cup-bearer presented him with a basin in 
which to wash his hands, the seneschal holding the towel. 
Whilst this ceremonial was proceeding the prior of the 
church advanced to the head of the table and gave the 
benediction. He then retired into the ante-chamber, 
where the guests were washing their hands, in readiness 


to return with them as soon as the Grand-Master was 
seated. That dignitary, after having washed his hands 
and wiped them in the towel which the seneschal held 
for that purpose, took his seat at the head of the table 
upon a couch of crimson velvet beneath a dais. The 
guests then entered the apartment, and seated themselves 
according to their rank upon either side of the table, 
replacing their caps on their heads as they did so. The 
dinner then commenced, the carvers performing their 
office, and the pages waiting on the guests. 

It was a point of etiquette upon these occasions that 
none should presume to drink until the Grand-Master 
had set the example. As soon, therefore, as the soup 
was removed his eminence called for wine, and rising 
with his cup in his hand drank to the health of those 
who sat at table with him. The guests thereupon also 
rose and removed their caps, remaining in that position 
whilst he drank, and until the moment when, after 
finishing his draught, he once more bowed all around 
and reseated himself. The guests then in their turn 
drank to the health of their host, standing up as they 
did so and bowing to him. The second toast given by 
the Grand-Master was the officers of his household, and 
the guests took that opportunity of pledging each other, 
and at the third toast they also drank to the household. 
At the conclusion of the repast the Grand-Master gave 
the health of the Pope, and this was the signal for the 
close of the ceremonial. 

The public levies which were held very frequently at 
the palace resembled so closely in their etiquette that 
usually adopted in the courts of Europe that it appears 
scarcely necessary to describe them here. The religious 
ceremonials in which the Grand-Master took a part, in 


Virtue of his office, were also very numerous, and the 
rules laid down for their conduct minute in the extreme, 
the more so owing to the bickerings and jealousies 
which had gradually sprung up between the principal 
functionaries of the Order and the ecclesiastics, who 
considered themselves exempted from the authority of 
the Grand-Master, and under the control of the Pope 
alone. Most of these solemnities were in honour of the 
ordinary anniversaries of the church, and contained 
nothing of interest as connected particularly with the 
Order. There were, however, two amongst them which 
were held in peculiar veneration, and a description of 
which will be found interesting as a type of the festivals 
celebrated in the island. One of these was the 8th of 
September, St. Mary's day, and the anniversary of the 
raising of the siege of Malta by the Turks ; and the 
other was St. John the Baptist's day, who, as patron 
saint of the Order, was held in peculiar veneration. 

The following account of the first of these has been 
taken from a manuscript, in which all the festivals of 
the church have had their forms of solemnisation fully 
detailed. At eight o'clock in the morning, all the 
grand-crosses then in Malta assembled at the palace 
in full costume, with their mantles "aftec," and ac- 
companied the Grand-Master in solemn procession to 
St. John's Church. The streets between the palace and 
the church were lined by a double file of the island 
militia, dressed in the ancient Maltese costume, which 
from its gay and fantastic colours added much to the 
eflfect of the scene. Arrived at the church, high mass 
was commenced by the prior of St. John's, but at the 
close of the epistle it was interrupted by the arrival of 
the grand standard of the Order. It had always been 

204 A niSTOBY OP 

the privilege of the language of Auvergne to have the 
charge of this banner, and the Knights of that language 
took their turn in regular order as standard bearers 
during those festivals in which it made its appearance. 
In time of war, however, no such regular order was 
observed, but the grand-marshal selected any member 
of his language whom he preferred for this high office. 
Upon the festival of St. Mary, the standard-bearer 
entered the church, arrayed in full armour, with the 
sopra vest of the Order, and a silver helmet on his head, 
surmounted by a nodding plume, forming altogether, 
as the manuscript remarks, " a magnificent spectacle." 
He was accompanied by one of the Grand- Master's 
pages, bearing the sword and poinard presented to 
La Valette by the king of Spain. The standard was 
accompanied by the whole language of Auvergne, 
headed by the grand-marshal bearing the rod of justice 
in his hand. The bearer, accompanied by the page, 
proceeded up the church until he arrived at the high 
altar, which he saluted three times ; he then turned 
towards the Grand-Master, who was seated on his 
throne, and also saluted him thrice; after which he 
mounted the dais, and placed himself with his standard 
upon the right hand of his eminence, the page bearing 
the sword and the poinard, taking up his place on the 
left. The mass then proceeded, and when the gospel 
was being read, the Grand-Master took the sword and 
dagger from the hands of the page, and, drawing them 
from their scabbards, held them naked in his hand till 
the gospel was concluded. This ceremony was a relic 
of the ancient custom of the Order invariably to draw 
their swords during the reading of the gospel, as a 
token of their readiness to combat in its behalf. This 


custom fell into disuse during their later years, an 
omen, perhaps, and a mark of the cessation of their old 
readiness to defend their faith. Whilst the host was 
being elevated, the standard-bearer knelt and embraced 
his banner. At the conclusion of the ceremony it was 
borne to the church of our Lady of Victory, after which 
it returned accompanied by the Grand-Master to the 
palace. Upon this occasion, ten young women received 
a dowry of forty crowns each from the public treasury. 

Upon the 7th of September, the vigil of the above 
feast, a solemn service was performed in memory of 
those who had fallen during the memorable siege, and on 
this occasion particular respect was paid to the tomb of 
La Valette, as also to that of a Spaniard named Don 
Melchior de Robles, who had acquired great renown 
during the defence of the post of Castile, and who fell 
gloriously at that point. Although not a member of the 
Order, he was buried in the chapel of the language of 
Auvergne, and the Grand-Master, Raphael Cottoner, 
erected a handsome monument to his memory. 

During the afternoon of this day, the ceremony of 
uncovering the celebrated picture of our Lady of 
Philerme took place. This picture has been frequently 
mentioned in previous pages, and maintained its ancient 
celebrity to the last. When L'Isle Adam left Rhodes 
he bore it with him, and on the settlement of the Order 
in Malta, it was placed in the conventual church of 
St. Laurence. After the construction of St. John's 
church by La Cassiere, it was transported thither, and 
lodged in a magnificent chapel devoted to its reception. 
Until the year 1598 it remained always covered by a 
thick veil, which was never removed; but in that 
year it was first publicly unveiled on the occasion of 


St. Mary's day, and continued for many years to be 
solemnly uncovered and exposed for the devotion of 
the pious on that day. Latterly, however, it remained 
always visible, and in order to preserve the ancient 
ceremonial, which was performed in the presence of the 
Grand- Master and his council, a thin veil was extended 
before the picture, which was solemnly withdrawn on 
the 7th of September, and replaced on the evening of 
the 8th. 

The other ceremonial to which allusion has been 
made, was the exhibition of the hand of St. John the 
Baptist, presented to the Grand-Master, Peter d' Aubusson, 
by the sultan Bajazet. This precious relic, which, like 
the picture of our Lady of Philerme, had been brought 
from Rhodes to Malta by L'Isle Adam, was deposited in 
a chapel of St. John's church, called the Oratory. It 
was enclosed in a magnificent silver custode, secured by 
eight locks, one of the keys of which was deposited in 
the charge of the Grand-Master, as turcopolier, and the 
other seven in that of the other conventual bailiffs. On 
the vigil of the feast of St. John these keys were all 
collected by the Master of the Horse, who, in presence 
of the Grand-Master and council, opened the casket or 
custode, and the Prior of the Church bore the relic 
in procession to the high altar, where it remained 
throughout the next day, except when it was borne in 
grand procession through all the principal streets of 
the city. The hand itself was enclosed in a gold 
reliquary, richly studded with diamonds and pearls, the 
grand-prior of Barletta having also presented it with 
a magnificent diamond ring. 

The Grand- Master had the right, should he desire it, 
of naming a lieutenant, to whom he might devolve 


such of his functions as from age or disinclination he 
was unwilling to exercise in person. This nomination 
rested entirely with himself, the council merely re- 
ceiving intimation of the fact. It was customary 
whenever a Grand-Master fell seriously ill for him to 
appoint a lieutenant, whose authority lasted only until 
either his recovery or death. Some Grand-Masters, 
however, named lieutenants in permanency, who re- 
lieved them of all the more onerous burdens of govern- 
ment, retaining in their own hands only such authority 
as was necessary for the maintenance of their dignity. 
As a proof of the jealousies and petty squabbles of the 
ecclesiastics, which distracted the fraternity in its later 
years, it may be mentioned that the lieutenant of the 
Grand-Master was allowed a seat in the church of St. 
John above the seneschal, and with a carpet. The 
bishop of Malta, who was also allowed a seat above the 
seneschal, had no carpet, and being unwilling to admit 
the precedency of the lieutenant, he refrained from 
attending church whenever such a functionary was 

If the Grand-Master fell seriously sick, and his malady 
was considered dangerous, the prior of the church re- 
ceived notification of the fact, the Host was brought 
into the palace, and the dying man received the sacra* 
ment of extreme unction. During this time the great 
bell of St. John's church tolled forth at intervals, and, 
as the palace was in close proximity to the church, the 
expiring chief was enabled distinctly to hear his own 
passing bell. After his death, his body was enjbalmed, 
and then once more arrayed in his magisterial robes, and 
lay in state in one of the principal chambers of the 
palace. On the morning of the funeral, the cortege 


was thus formed: — First, the governor of the city, 
followed by the battalion of guards, with drums beating 
a funeral dirge ; then the clergy of the island accord- 
ing to their respective grades and dignities ; after whom 
came the corpse, borne by the senior Knights, the 
conventual bailiffs holding the pall, and four pages 
with standards surrounding the coffin; then followed 
the officers of the household, the grand-crosses, and 
other dignitaries ; and the procession was closed by the 
general members of the Order, and the public at Large. 
The funeral service being completed, and the body 
lowered into its last resting place, the seneschal ad- 
vanced, and breaking his wand of office, threw it upon 
the coffin, exclaiming in a loud voice, " Gentlemen, our 
Master is dead." The master of the horse followed in 
the same manner, breaking the spurs of the deceased, 
and the treasurer likewise, who threw a purse into the 
grave. The ceremony then closed, and the members 
returned from the mournful scene to speculate on the 
excitement of the coming election, which would take 
place on the morrow, to fill the vacant dignity. 

It was contrary to etiquette for a Grand-Master to 
pay any visits, and this rule was but seldom deviated 
from, and then only on most important occasions. He 
was, however, sufficiently gallant to pay a visit of con- 
gratulation to the three convents of St. Ursula, St. 
Catherine, and St. Magdalen, both at Christmas and 
Easter. He also called upon the Benedictine nuns of 
the Citta Vittoriosa, when he took formal possession of 
that city, upon assuming the magisterial dignity. He 
was bound to inspect the Hospital of the fraternity 
• periodically, and upon this occasion he tied an apron 
round his waist, and personally distributed their re- 


spective portions of food to each patient. He was sup- 
posed in this manner to fulfil his duties as a religious 

The navy of the Order was under the supreme con- 
trol of the bailiff of Auvergne, as grand-marshal, and 
next to him under that of the bailiff of Italy, as grand- 
admiral. These two officials had charge of the land 
forces as well as the navy. Indeed, the two services 
were so commingled in the Order of St. John, that it 
would be difficult to mark any distinction between 
them, except that the militia of the island did not serve 
on board ship, nor did the battalion of the guard. The 
other two, named respectively the battalion of the 
galleys and the battalion of ships, served indiscrimi- 
nately ashore or afloat, as they were required. Every 
Knight, during his residence in Malta, was bound to 
complete four caravans, or cruises of six months each ; 
during which time of course he was attached to one of 
these two battalions. As the two dignitaries named 
above, the marshal and the admiral, held their offices as 
heads of their respective languages, the actual duty of 
governance and superintendence of the navy would 
often have been but ill performed had it been left 
entirely to them. An officer was consequently selected 
who, although subordinate to their authority, had the 
real control in all naval matters. This Knight, who 
was called the general of the galleys, was elected by 
the council by ballot, on the nomination of the Grand- 
Master. The council had no power to name any person 
for the post, that privilege being reserved for the Grand- 
Master alone ; but they could by an actual majority of 
votes veto his appointment, and compel a fresh nomina- 
tion. The general of the galleys was always a grand- 

VOL. II. p 


ci\HLS and if he had not attained to that dignity prior 
to his appointment, it was at once conferred upon 

So soon as his election was decided, and the notifica- 
tion made to him, he named the officer whom he wished 
to serve under him as commander of the capitane galley 
or flag-ship. This appointment was decided in a similar 
manner to his own, the nomination resting with him- 
self, but its veto with the council. He also appointed 
a patron, or sub-officer, to his galley, who in case of 
a vacancy whilst at sea, would succeed to the post of 
captain. The general of the galleys was invested with 
absolute authority on board his fleet whilst it was at sea. 
He had uncontrolled power of life and death over the 
crews, and was permitted to suspend any officer from 
his functions, even though he might have received his 
appointment from the council direct. He received the 
title of excellency when absent from the convent, as 
well from members of the fraternity as from strangers, 
and had the privilege, when attending the council, of 
which as a grand-cross he was necessarily a member, of 
appearing in red, with sword and cane, whilst the ordi- 
nary members were clothed in the " cloccia," or black 
cloak of the Order, and were not permitted either a 
weapon or stick within the council hall. 

Until the latter end of the 17th century, the fleet 
of the Order had consisted exclusively of galleys, 
and it was with a navy thus composed, that they had 
earned that brilliant reputation which had gained for 
them the supremacy of the Mediterranean, and the pri- 
vilege that the flag of every other nation, upon those 
waters, saluted that of St. John. Even Louis XIV., a 
monarch who invariably was most unyielding in afiairs 


of ceremony and precedence, admitted the right of the 
Hospitaller galleys to the first salute from his vessels. 
Towards the close of that century, however, an addition 
was gradually made to the navy of other vessels, and 
these eventually became so augmented, as to lead to a 
division in the organisation and duties of the marine, 
as also in its superintendence. 

For this purpose an officer was nominated in the same 
manner as the general of the galleys, whose title was 
commandant of vessels, and lieutenant-general of the 
galleys. He was subordinate to the general of the gal- 
leys, and when that officer was present, the command 
invariably fell into his hands as well of the vessels as of 
the galleys, but as these latter rarely acted with the. 
former the commandant usually enjoyed a separate 
command. He was not necessarily a grand-cross, but 
if he should have attained that dignity he was accorded 
the same privilege as has been specified for the general 
of the galleys, of appearing at the council in red, with 
sword and stick. The control of these two branches 
of the navy was vested in two boards, named respec- 
tively the congregation of the galleys, and the congrega- 
tion of the vessels. The former, which was the most 
important, was composed of the grand-admiral (or his 
lieutenant), the general of the galleys, and of four com- 
missioners. Knights of the four languages.* The other 
board, which was strictly subordinate, was presided over 
by a grand-cross, deputed to that duty by the council, 
and consisted of the commandant of vessels and four 
commissioners, also Knights of the four languages. The 

* The four languages thus specified meant France (including all 
its three divisions), Spain (including Portugal), Italy, and Grennany. 

r 2 



number of the galleys, prior to the introduction of other 
vessels, varied usually from six to eight ; although in 
time of war they were often increased. After the intro- 
duction of other vessels, in 1704, the galleys were re- 
duced in number to four. The fleet of men-of-war at 
first consisted of three ships, which were afterwards in- 
creased to four, and eventually three frigates were also 
added. The cost of these frigates was 12,000/. each. 
Two of the men-of-war were sold in 1781 for 18,000/. 
The crews of the galleys were organised into a battalion, 
and were officered by Knights, who rose by seniority to 
the grade of captain, subject to the nomination of their 
congregation. The same organisation was observed in 
the squadron of vessels. The garrison duty of Valetta, 
and the other towns, was performed by these troops, in 
conjunction with the Grand-Master's guard, the militia 
being only called out for duty at certain seasons. 

It has been mentioned that the supreme governance 
over the military and naval establishments of the Order 
was vested in the bailiff of Auvergne, and under him 
in the bailiff of Italy, but that, to relieve these dig- 
nitaries of the onerous duties of the post, a subordi- 
nate officer was appointed, who had the actual direction 
and control of that department. So we also find that, 
although the bailiff of Castile and Portugal was grand- 
chancellor, the most important and responsible portion 
of the duties attached to that dignity were performed 
by the vice-chancellor, an officer who became in point 
of fact the secretary of state to the Order. He was 
nominated in the first instance by the chancellor, and 
although that official was not restricted in his choice, 
but might select a Knight of any language, still being 
himself either a Castilian or Portuguese, he very gene- 


rally selected a Knight of one of those two languages 
for the post. The name thus chosen was submitted to 
the Grand-Master for approval, and he in his turn laid 
it before the council, where the candidate was compelled 
to obtain a majority of suffrages. The vice-chancellor 
was not of necessity a grand-cross, but was very often 
invested with that dignity. Indeed, the emoluments 
and patronage of the office were so considerable, that it 
was much sought after, even by Knights the most ex- 
alted in position, and we find not a few who have, in 
the occupation of this office, found such great facilities 
for ingratiating themselves with the fraternity, as to 
have succeeded, through its means, in eventually attain- 
ing the dignity of Grand-Master. 

We also find the bailiff of Aragon, as grand-conser- 
vator, relieved of the most arduous of his duties by the 
conventual conservator. The seven languages took it 
in turn to supply a candidate for this office, which lasted 
for three years ; six months before the expiration of 
each term the bailiff of the language whose turn it was 
to fill the next vacancy, submitted to the Grand-Master 
a list of such members of his language as were eligible 
for the post. Grand-crosses were not admitted into this 
list, although in the case of a conservator attaining to 
the dignity of a grand-cross during his term of office, 
he nevertheless retained his position till the expiration 
of Ids three years. The Grand-Master selected from this 
list the candidate he might desire to propose to the 
council, and the votes of that body were necessary to 
render the nomination valid. The duties of the conser- 
vator consisted in taking charge of all gold, silver, 
jewellery and plate, left by a Knight at his decease, 
whether at the convent, or in the European comman- 

p 3 


deries. He took charge of the treasury chest, and issued 
payments therefrom ; in fact, all the pecuniary transac- 
tions of the Order passed through his hands. Although 
he had no seat in the ordinary council, unless he was a 
grand-cross, he was admitted into the complete council 
in his capacity of conservator. 

The revenues of the fraternity were controlled by a 
committee, called the chamber of the treasury, and 
which consisted of the grand-commander, the bailiff of 
Provence, as president ; three procurators, one of whom 
was named by the Grand-Master, and the other two by 
the council; the conventual conservator, two auditors, 
and two secretaries. When the grandcommander was 
not present in person, the deliberations were presided 
over by his lieutenant, who, in his absence, enjoyed the 
same authority as himself. No discussion could be car- 
ried on without the presence either of the commander 
or his lieutenant, and in case they wished to conclude 
the sitting, they were enabled to do so by the simple act 
of leaving the table. 

The revenues of the Order which fell under the ad- 
ministration of the chamber of the treasury, consisted of 
the following items, which formed the ordinary income 
of the fraternity. 

1st item : Responsions. — The nature of these payments 
has been already fully explained ; its proportion to the 
rental of each commandery was decided by a chapter- 
general, and might, in the event of war, or other public 
pressure, be raised in amount. It usually was fixed at 
one-third of the net income of the commandery. The 
annual receipt from this source during the last ten years 
of the Order's existence was 47,520/.* 

* These amounts have all been taken from the report published by 


' 2nd item: Mortuary and Vacancy. — Whenever a 
commander died, the entire of the revenue of his com- 
mandery, from the date of his decease until the 1st of 
May following, was paid into the public treasury, and 
was called the mortuary. The revenue of the year 
following was also paid to the treasury, and was called 
the vacancy. Whenever the finances of the Order re- 
quired extraordinary assistance, a second year's vacancy 
was appropriated to its aid, and eventually this addi- 
tional tax became continuous. Its annual average 
was 21,470/. 

3rd it€m : Passages. — This was a sum of money paid 
to the Order by members on being admitted into its 
ranks. It was of two kinds; the majority and the 
minority. The former, which was paid by Knights 
at the age of sixteen, or pages at the age of twelve, was 
100/. ; when paid by a chaplain, it was 80/. ; and when 
paid by a servant of arms, it was 92/. ; the donats or 
brothers of stage paid 26/. 8^. The minority passage 
was an increased rate, paid for the privilege of enter- 
ing the Order at an earlier age than was permitted 
under the restrictions of the majority passage. It was 
originally commenced in the middle of the 17th 
century, as an expedient to raise an extra fund for 
building additional accommodation for the Order in 
Malta, but it was never appropriated to the intended 
purpose, and latterly became a recognised and con- 
tinuous source of revenue. Its amount for the first 
class was 388/., and for both the second and third classes 
it was 230/. The annual average of this source of 

the Commander Ransijat, which shows the receipts of the treasury 
for the ten years ending in 1792. 

r 4 


revenue, majority and minority both included, was 

4th item : Spoils. — This consisted of the produce of 
all the effects of a deceased Knight, which fell to the 
public treasury, excepting only one-fifth part, which, 
■with the sanction of the Grand-Master, he was permitted 
to dispose of by way of testament. The annual average 
of this item was 24,755?. 

The next few items are too insignificant to require 
much detail. The priory annates amounted to 477/., 
and consisted of a year's revenue paid by a commander 
when nominated by the grand-prior, a privUege that 
dignitary was permitted to exercise once in five years. 
The priory presents amounted only to 50/., and consisted 
of a commutation of the gift which by the statutes a 
prior was bound to present to the church of St. John at 
Malta, once at least during his tenure of office. This pre- 
sent had been commuted to 40/. for priories of the first 
class, and 32/. for those of the second class. The annual 
average of these presents was 50/. The gifts paid into 
the treasury as presents by the Knights averaged 146/- 
annually. The timber upon every commandery belpngcd 
of right to the treasury, and at one time realised a very 
considerable amount. Its gradual diminution had re- 
duced the proceeds to a comparatively small sum by 
the close of the eighteenth century, when its annual 
average was only 4798/. 

The next item will require some explanation. Its 
title is renounced pensions^ and it arose in the following 
manner. Many of the commanderies were saddled with 
pensions, which were subject to the vacancy and mor- 
tuary, like the remainder of the revenue of the comman- 
dery. In order to avoid the inconvenience of the loss 


of two years' pension upon the occasion of every 
vacancy, many of the pensioners agreed to pay ten per 
cent, of their pension annually to the treasury, in con- 
sideration of which they were freed from the mortuary 
and vacancy, and were also guaranteed the punctual 
payment of the remainder of their annuity. The annual 
receipts from this source amounted to 161/. Rents of 
various kinds realised 2995/., in addition to which there 
were some storehouses and gardens, the property of the 
treasury, which produced 433/. 

Various foundations had at diflferent times been 
established by members of the Order for the mainte- 
nance of the hospital, fortifications, galleys, &c., and as 
in process of time the funds invested for this purpose 
became no longer sufficient to meet the end proposed, 
the treasury undertook to make up the deficiency, and 
the amount of the foundations was paid into its coffers, 
amounting to 611/. There were also four foundations, 
the administration of which had originally been vested 
in the treasury ; they amounted annually to 3430/. 
The lazaretto duties were 131/. The annual sale of 
permission to eat eggs and butter during Lent realised 
1055/. The ransom of Turkish slaves produced 1662/. 
The interest of money advanced by the treasury to 
commanders, on the guarantee of their language, 
amounted to 638/. Secret restitution money averaged 
65/., and sundry other small sums completed the list ; 
making the total average annual income from ordinary 
sources, 131,530/. Of this amount the various lan- 
guages and the convent contributed in the following 
proportion : — Provence, 20,500/. ; Auvergne, 7500/. ; 
France, 32,000/. ; Aragon, 12,000/. ;• Castile, 16,000/. ; 
Portugal, 9500/.; Italy, 24,500/.; Germany, 4400/.; 


Anglo-Bavaria, 300?*; Poland, 700/. and the convent, 

In addition to the above sources of revenue,, there 
were certain foundations established at different periods 
for purposes which, but for the existence of those foun- 
dations, must have been provided for by the treasury. 
They consisted of the following sums: 1050Z. per annum 
given by Manoel for the maintenance of Fort Manoel ; 
1080/. given by Cottoner for the maintenance of Fort 
Ricasoli; 150/. given by a lady from Sienna for the 
maintenance of a hospital for women ; and 2665/. given 
by three members of the Order towards the support of 
St. John's church. 

Such being the average receipts of the treasury, it 
may be well to give a brief glance at^heir expenditure. 
The first item on this list was that ^^ambassadors, 
including not only their own salaries, but afcwtfhose of 
their secretaries, and all other expenses connectoL^'^ 
the establishment. This item amounted to 3800/. The 
second was for receivers, including their salaries ^ 
those of their employSsj together with all travelling* a! 
law expenses, and amounted to 6600/. The third iten 
included all expenses connected with the three conven- 
tual churches of St. John, St. Anthony, and the Concep- 
tion, and figured for the sum of 1160/. The annual 
charge for alms was upwards of 1700/. The expense 
of the Grand Hospital was nearly 8000/. ; the sick costing 
the treasury about one shilling each per diem. The 
hospital for women cost upwards of 1800/. A certain 
number of foundlings were supported at a cost of 600K^ 


* It must be borne in mind that, as has already been stated, these 
figures only represent the annual income, on an average of the last 
ten years of the existence of the Order in Malta. 




The navy cost the Order 47,500?., which was thus 
divided : the galleys cost 22,500?. ; the men-of-war, 
23,600/. ; and sundry minor charges, 1400?, The land 
armaments cost 17,000/., of which the Maltese regiment 
cost 12,600/. ; the artillery, 1000/. ; the staff in Valetta, 
280/. ; the ordnance, 1500/. ; the fortifications, 1300/. ; 
sundry other minor charges making up the balance. 
The tables kept by the Order for the resident members 
cost 5400/., including 600/. allowed to the Grand-Master 
for his own table. The details of this sura will be more 
fully explained, when the organisation and administration 
of the auberges appertaining to the several languages is 
treated of. The expenses of the treasury office, in which 
were included those of the conservator, amounted to 
nearly 900/., and those of the chancery to about 150/. 
The maintenance and clothing of the slaves who were 
employed on shore cost nearly 3000/., exclusive of 
those who, having embraced Christianity, were kept 
separate, and were supported at an expense averaging 
nearly 1000/. About 500/. a year was expended in the 
purchase of slaves from members of the Order. The 
maintenance of the aqueduct, constructed originally by 
the Grand-Master De Vignacourt, together with that of 
the public cisterns and fountains, caused a charge of 
300/. The postage of letters for those persons who were 
exempted from such payments cost the treasury 2000/. 
The persons thus privileged were the Grand-Master, his 
general-receiver, and his three secretaries, the inquisitor, 
the members of the ordinary chamber, six in number, 
the commissioner of the post-office, and all the ambas- 
sadors of the Order resident in foreign courts. The 
pension list chargeable to the treasury varied greatly at 
different periods. At the dose of the eighteenth century 


it amounted to 1100/. The interest of loans contracted 
by the fraternity swallowed up 5000/. This interest 
was at diflferent rates, commencing at 2 per cent., and 
rising to 2J, 2^, 2J, up to 3 per cent., which was the 
largest amount paid for any loan. The establishment 
for stores was chargeable to the amount of 18,000/.; and 
there were also sundry extraordinary expenses which 
varied from time to time, but which usually swelled the 
general expenditure to between the sums of 120,000/. 
and 130,000/., which nearly balanced the income. 

The reader who is accustomed to peruse the national 
balance sheets of the great countries of Europe may be 
prompted to smile at the figures of this sum total ; and 
when it is remembered that out of this amount the 
army, navy, ordnance, and civil establishment of the 
fraternity were all defrayed, it appears marvellous 
that they should have been maintained with so much 
efficiency. But it must be borne in mind that this 
public revenue comprised but a very small portion of 
the total property and gross income of the Order. The 
whole European property in commanderies and priories 
only contributed 40,000/. to the Malta exchequer. It, 
however, was available for the support of a very large 
majority of the fraternity, and of their dependents, who 
would otherwise have become chargeable to the treasury. 
The Grand-Master's income of 40,000/. also constituted 
a separate item. We cannot, therefore, estimate the 
gross annual income of the fraternity from all sources, 
during the 18th century, at less than half a million 
sterling. The largest proportion of this revenue was 
drawn from France, which nation contributed three of 
the eight languages into which they were divided. 

The European property, which made so small a return 


in direct payments into the treasury, was divided 
in the following manner: The language of Provence 
consisted of the two grand-priories of St. Gilles and 
Toulouse, and the bailiwick of Manosque. The grand- 
priory of St. Gilles was divided into fifty-three com- 
manderies, whilst that of Toulouse contained thirty; 
and the revenue paid by the language into its local 
treasury was something less than 50,000?. a year. 

The language of Auvergne consisted of the grand- 
priory of Auvergne, and the bailiwick of Lyons ; the 
priory being divided into fifty-two commanderies, and 
its revenues amounting to 17,000Z. 

The language of France comprised the three grand- 
priories of France, Aquitaine, and Champagne ; the 
first of which contained fifty-eight commanderies, the 
second thirty-one, and the last twenty-four ; the revenue 
of the language being 75,000/. 

The language of Italy comprised seven grand-priories, 
and five bailiwicks. The priories were Lombardy, 
divided into thirty-six commanderies, Rome into nine- 
teen, Venice into twenty-eight, Pisa into sixteen, Capua 
into twenty, Barletta into twelve, and Messina into 
eleven. The bailiwicks were St. Euphemia, St. Stephen, 
Holy Trinity of Venousa, St. John of Naples, and St. 
Sebastian. The revenue of the language was 56,000/. 

The Spanish language of Aragon comprised the three 
grand-priories of Aragon commonly called the castellany 
of Emposta, Catalonia, and Navarre. The castellany 
was divided into thirty commanderies; Catalonia into 
twenty-nine, and Navarre into eighteen. There were 
also in this language the bailiwicks of Majorca and 
Caspa, as also the alternate occupation of the bailiwick 
of Negropont, with the language of Castile. 


The language of England was, during the 18th cen- 
tury, combined with that of Bavaria, under the title 
of Anglo-Bavaria, the former having become virtually 
extinct, and the latter having sprung into existence 
only at a late date. Although bearing the name of 
Anglo-Bavarian, and enjoying all the privileges of tlie 
old and venerable language of England, it was practi- 
cally exclusively Bavarian. Its two grand-priories of 
Ebersberg and Poland were divided into twenty-nine 
and thirty-two commanderies respectively. Its reve- 
nues had not become fully developed when the Order 
was suppressed, and had never reached 1000/. a-year. 
The bailiwick of Neuberg was attached to this lan- 

The three German grand-priories of Germany, Bohe- 
mia, and Dacia, contained between them fifty-six com- 
manderies, and the revenues which they produced 
amounted to about 10,000/. a year. 

The language of Castile and Portugal was divided 
into the three grand-priories of Castile, Leon, and 
Portugal, which contained between them seventy-five 
commanderies, with a revenue of 38,000/. 

Thus it will be perceived that the European property 
of the Order of St. John was divided into nearly seven 
hundred distinct estates, each of which afibrded a liberal 
income to its own immediate commander, besides con- 
tributing to the treasury of its grand-priory, and 
through that channel to the main treasury at Malta. 
Each commandery, in addition to its own chief, gave a 
maintenance to two or more brothers of the Order, who 
were associated with him in the management, and who 
lived entirely at the expense of the commandery. 

In a preceding chapter full details have been ^ven 


of the various commanderies which the Order possessed 
in England, prior to the Reformation. It may be well, be- 
fore closing this branch of the subject, to point out that 
the origind language of England was divided into the 
two grand-priories of England and Ireland ; the former 
containing thirty-seven commanderies, the details of 
which have been enumerated, and the latter twenty-one. 
The bailiwick of the Eagle was also attached to this 
language. The twenty-one Irish commanderies were as 
follows: — ^In the county of Dublin, Kilmainham and 
Clontarf. In the county of Kildare, Kilbegs, Kilheel, 
and TuUy. In the county of Wexford, Kilclogan, Bally- 
Hewk, and Wexford. This latter commandery had 
been the seat of the grand-priory of the Hospitallers 
until the suppression of the Templars threw that of 
Kilmainham into their hands, when they removed the 
local seat of government to that spot. In the county 
of Carlow, the commandery of Killergy ; in that of 
Meath, Kilmainham-Beg, and Kilmainham- Wood. In 
that of Louth, Kilsaran ; in that of Down, Ardes. In 
Waterford, the four commanderies of Kilbarry, Killara, 
Crook, and Nincrioch. In Cork, Mome or Mora; in 
Tipperary, Clonmel ; in Gal way, Kinalkin ; and in Sligo, 
Teaque Temple. The greater proportion of this pro- 
perty had been originally in the hands of the Templars, 
and was transferred to the Hospital on the suppression 
of that Order. 





From the period when the Order of St. John was first 
divided into languages, and the various dignities in the 
gift of the fraternity apportioned to those languages, 
no confusion or intermixture was ever permitted between 
them. A postulant for admission into the Order pre- 
ferred his request either to the head of the language 
of which he was a native at the convent, or at one of 
the grand-priories in his own country. If he desired 
admission into the class of Knights of justice, the 
necessary proofs of nobility were required from him, 
which proofs varied in the diflferent languages, and have 
been already described. When it had been satisfac- 
torily ascertained that he was of sufficiently gentle 
birth to entitle him to admission as a Knight, he was, 
if he had attained a suflScient age, admitted as a novice, 
and after the expiration of a twelvemonth spent in pro- 
bation, he was duly received into the body of the Order 
as a professed Knight. 

The age at which a postulant was received as a novice 


was sixteen, which enabled him to become professed at 
seventeen, but he was not required to commence his 
residence in Malta until he had attained the age of 
twenty, and in many cases received a dispensation post* 
poning that residence still further. The pages of the 
Grand-Master were entitled to the privilege of admis- 
sion into the Order at the age of twelve years, and 
their service in that capacity counted towards the term 
of residence every Enight was bound to complete at the 
convent to entitle him to nomination to a commandery. 
In later years Knights were also received " in minority," 
even in their cradles ; a larger amount of entrance 
money, called " passage," being in such cases paid, but 
this was an innovation on the established rule, intro- 
duced merely for the purpose of raising additional 
funds for the assistance of the public treasury. 

A Enight having thus become professed, so soon as 
he had reached the age of twenty years, was bound to 
proceed to Malta and to reside there for a certain term. 
During this time he performed such military and naval 
duties as were required of him, and which were termed 
caravans, a certain number being requisite before he 
could attain promotion.* During this period he was 
attached to the inn of bis language, where he lived at 
the table found by the conventual bailiff, as will be 
more fully detailed presently. After he had completed 

* Each complete year of military or naval service constituted a 
caravan, and the number of these required for qualification as a com- 
mander were, until a late period, fixed at three ; latterly, however, 
four were exacted. The residence in the convent for the same quali- 
fication was fixed at five years. Before a Knight could be elected a 
bailiff, either conventual or capitular, he must have performed fifteen 
years of service in the Order, ten of which must have been in resi- 
dence at the convent. 



his necessary term of service he was eligible for pro- 
motion to a comraandery, and in due course of seniority 
received that appointment, which removed him once 
more from Malta to his native country, where he re- 
sided upon the estate intrusted to his charge, and was 
under the direct supervision of the grand-prior within 
whose district his commandery was located. In many 
cases, however. Knights received appointments in 
Malta, either in the Grand-Master's household or in 
some official capacity which necessitated a continued 
residence in the island, and which might be con- 
sidered as an equivalent. After having held a com- 
mandery for five years he was eligible for translation 
to one of greater value, provided he was considered 
to have administered that originally intrusted to his 
charge with due prudence and care. He thus continued 
rising in dignity and emoluments until he had attained 
such seniority as rendered him eligible for the post of 
conventual bailiff, upon nomination to which he resigned 
the commandery he was holding, and at once returned 
to Malta to assume the duties of his new station. 

The conventual bailiffs, originally eight in number, 
but since the secession of the English language and 
the consequent attachment of the office of turcopolier 
to that of the Grand- Master, reduced to seven, ranked 
next in the precedence of the Order to the supreme 
dignity. Their duties were thus defined in the 
statutes, " In order that the Grand-Master may be 
enabled to watch over the governance of our Order 
with greater prudence and moderation, our predecessors 
have appointed as assistants in his senate men of worth 
and good repute, who shall each be invested with a 
separate office. For this purpose have been established 


the several councillors of our Order, such as the grand- 
commander, the marshal, the hospitaller, the admiral, 
the grand-conservator, the turcopolier, the grand-bailiff, 
and the grand-chancellor, who are all called conventual 
bailiffs, because each is the president of his language." 

These dignitaries resided each in the palace or inn 
appropriated to his language, which were large and 
handsome edifices erected for that purpose out of the 
public funds.* The treasury issued an allowance of 
sixty gold crowns a month to every bailiff for the ex- 
penses of his office, and it also granted daily a fixed 
allowance in kind to support the tables which he was 
obliged to maintain in his inn for the use of the mem- 
bers of his language. Every member resident in Malta, 
whether a Knight, chaplain, or serving brother, was 
entitled to a cover at one of the tables of his inn, saving 
only when he was a commander holding a benefice of 
the annual value of 200/. a year if a Knight, or of 100/. 
a year if either a chaplain or serving brother, in which 
case he was excluded from joining the table of his inn, 
being considered as sufficiently provided for otherwise. 

The allowance issued by the treasury was by no means 
sufficient to cover the expense of these tables ; a great 

* These inns are still in existence, and are amongst the most 
striking adornments of the city of Yaletta. The Auberge of Provence 
is now appropriated to the Union Club ; the Auberge of Auvergne 
is the Court of Justice ; the Auberge of France is used as a com- 
missariat establishment ; the Auberge of Castile and Portugal is an 
officers' barrack ; the Auberge for Spain and Aragon is the residence 
of the Bishop of Gibraltar ; the Auberge of Italy is the civil arsenal ; 
and the Auberge for England, lately united to Bavaria, is also an 
officers' quarter. The Auberge of Grermany was pulled down some 
years since, to make way for the Protestant church erected for the 
use of the English residents of Malta by the late Queen Dowager of 

Q 2 


proportion fell, consequently, upon the private resources 
of the bailiffs. Burdensome as this charge undoubtedly 
was, the post of conventual bailiff was nevertheless 
eagerly sought after. Independent of the very high 
position which it conferred upon its holder, second only 
in rank and influence to the Grand-Master himself, it 
was invariably, and as a matter of right, the stepping- 
stone to the most lucrative dignities within the gift of 
the language. If either of its grand-priories or baili- 
wicks fell vacant, the conventual bailiff had the option 
of assuming the dignity ; or if he preferred waiting for 
one of still greater value, he might retain his post, and 
allow the vacant nomination to pass to those junior to 
himself, until one occurred of sufficient value to meet 
his expectations. Not unfrequently the selection of a 
Grand-Master was made from amongst the conventual 
bailiffs, who, from being present in the convent at the 
time of the election, had many advantages in the way 
of canvassing, and in making themselves popular and 
acceptable to the electors. 

The allowance which the bailiff was bound to provide 
for each person attending the table of his inn was one 
rotolo* of fresh meat, either beef, mutton, or kid, or two 
thirds of that amount of salt meat ; and on fast days, 
in lieu of the above, a due portion of fish, or four fresh 
eggs, together with an allowance of bread and wine, viz. 
six loaves of the former and a quartucciof of the latter. 
Members were permitted to draw this allowance, and to 
dine away ffom the inn three times a week, but on those 
occasions they bad no breakfast allowed them. When, 
however, they dined in the inn they were entitled to 

* A rotolo weighs one pound twelve ounces avoirdupois, 
t The quartuccio was about three English pints. 


both breakfast and supper. The above constituted what 
the bailiff was compelled to provide for his guests, but 
it rarely happened that he restricted himself within 
those limits. The prodigality of the tables actually 
maintained depended greatly on the private means and 
disposition of the bailiff. If he were generously disposed, 
a wealthy man, and anxious to gain popularity, the 
surest way to attain this end was by a liberal entertain- 
ment of those who were dependent on him for their 
daily sustenance. A spirit of rivalry was thus engen- 
dered between the various languages, and he who could 
obtain the reputation of maintaining his inn on the most 
liberal scale generally found his account in the popularity 
which he thus gained. 

Amongst the regulations laid down in the statutes for 
the maintenance of order at the inns was one which 
forbad the introduction of dogs, under the plea that 
they consumed too much food ; and another strictly for- 
bidding the members, under severe penalties, from 
striking the servants. 

The title of "pilier" was given to the conventual 
bailiffs, and it was by this name that they were designated 
in all official records. They were bound to reside perma- 
nently at the convent, and were compelled to make their 
appearance there within a period of two years from the 
date of their election to the dignity ; failing in which, 
the Grand- Master and council proceeded to a fresh 
election, and annulled that by which they had received 
their nomination. Three of the seven were entitled to 
leave of absence, which could be granted by the Grand- 
Master and council, upon good cause being shown, but 
four were bound under all circumstances to be present ; 
and those who had obtained leave nominated lieutenants 

Q 3 

230 A HISTOttT OF 

to act for them during their absence, and to supply their 
places at the council. The principle of seniority was recog- 
nised as that by which all appointments in the fraternity 
were to be governed, and the nomination to the office of 
conventual bailiff followed the general rule ; but it was 
by no means invariable, and Knights were constantly 
selected for the post over tbe heads of their seniors, 
either owing to their greater qualifications or the supe- 
rior interest which they possessed. 

The nominations to all commanderies were made by 
the Grand-Master in council, with the following excep- 
tions. In every priory the Grand-Master had one 
commandery, the revenue of which belonged to himself, 
and the nomination to this rested exclusively in himself. 
He also had the privilege of nominating to one vacancy 
in every priory once in each five years, and this privilege 
was also held by the grand-priors. The appointment of 
the patronage was fixed in the following manner. The 
first commandery which fell vacant during the quin- 
quennial term was nominated to by the Grand-Master, 
the second by the council, the third by the grand-prior, 
and all succeeding vacancies by the council, till the ter- 
mination of the period. Should there not be three 
vacancies during the time specified the grand-prior lost 
his privilege ; but this rarely occurred, as translations 
and promotions in so large a number of commanderies 
were of very frequent occurrence. A commander ap- 
pointed to a bailiwick or priory resigned his commandery 
to take possession of his new dignity, unless he was the 
holder of a magisterial commandery, which he was per- 
mitted to retain in connexion with his new appointment. 

The chaplains of the Order of St. John were received 
without any of those restrictions which were placed on 


the admission of the first class or Knights of Justice. It 
was suflSicient that they were of respectable origin, and 
that their parents had been duly united in lawful wed- 
lock. They were admitted at the age of sixteen years 
as clerks, and were ordained as subdeacons two years 
afterwards. They could not attain to the rank of deacon 
till they had reached the age of two and twenty, nor to 
that of chaplain earlier than twenty-five. They were 
then available for all the religious offices of the convent ; 
they performed divine service in the church of St. John ; 
were attached either to the household of the Grand- 
Master, the inns of their respective languages, or the 
hospital ; or they performed their caravans on board the 
galleys, and accompanied them during their cruises. It 
was from this class that the prior of the church and 
the bishop of Malta were selected ; the former by the 
Grand-Master and council, and the latter by the Pope. 
With regard to the election of the prior of the church, 
the statutes have thus expressed themselves: — "The 
more closely a dignity approaches to spiritual matters, 
the more careful and considerate ought to be the selec- 
tion of its holder. Bearing that in mind, we decree that 
whenever the priory of our church becomes vacant, the 
Grand-Master and the ordinary council shall assemble, 
and proceed to a new election with calm and serious 
deliberation. Having, for this purpose, carefully ex- 
amined into the manners, life, doctrine, and qualifications 
of our chaplains in every language, they shall elect and 
nominate as prior a chaplain of upright life and of ap- 
proved conduct, learned, and well-versed in the practice 
of things divine. It is essential that, after this election, 
he should reside perpetually at the convent, and if, upon 
any urgent necessity, he should ever be sent therefrom, 



the Grand-Master anJ ordinary council shall fix a defi- 
nite period for his return." 

In addition to the conventual chaplains thus created, 
the Order received into the second division of their fra- 
ternity another class, termed priests of obedience, who 
were not called upon to reside in Malta, but performed 
the duties of their office in the various Continental 
priories and commanderies. These priests received the 
emoluments of their various benefices like the other 
clergy, and where such revenues were too small for 
their due and honourable maintenance, they drew a 
further provision from the local funds of the Order. 
They were, however, ineligible for either of the great 
offices which were appropriated to the conventual chap- 
lains, nor were they ever appointed to hold command- 
eries, as the latter were. The ranks of the conventual 
chaplains were, after the residence of the Order had been 
established at Malta, mainly recruited from amongst the 
Maltese, and the post of bishop and prior, both of which 
ranked with the conventual bailiflFs, were constantly held 
by natives of that island. 

As the Order of St. John had originally owed its 
establishment to the charitable efforts of the Amalfi 
merchants for the practice of hospitality, and as to the 
exercise of that virtue they owed both their existence 
and their name, it was reasonable to anticipate that it 
should hold a high place amongst the duties inculcated 
by their statutes. Accordingly we thus find it spoken 
of under the head of hospitality. *' It is very certain 
that, by common consent of all Christian people, hospi- 
tality holds the first place amongst the works of piety 
and humanity, as that which embraces all the others. 
If, therefore, it be thus observed and revered by all well- 


diaposed persons with such zealous care, how much the 
rather ought those to practise it who honour themselves 
with the title of Knights Hospitallers, and who wish to 
be regarded as such. Since the thing of all others which 
we ought to desire should be to carry into full effect 
that of which we bear the name." 

In accordance with the views thus laid down, the 
earlier governors of the institution spared no pains and 
no expense to render their fraternity entitled to the 
name they had assumed. Even in the midst of the 
bloody wars in which the Order found itself constantly 
involved, and at times when their reverses had almost 
threatened their utter annihilation, the doors of their 
convent were ever open for the reception of the worn 
and weary wanderer. The pilgrim, whether sick or 
well, found there a ready welcome, and, should his 
bodily energies have sunk under the hardships and toil 
to which he had been exposed, he received within the 
walls of this charitable institution every care and at- 
tention that Christian benevolence could suggest. The 
Knight returned from his brilliant career on the battle- 
field, and oblivious of the renown which be and his 
brotherhood had there gained for themselves, doffed 
his harness, laid aside his trusty falchion, and, assuming 
the black mantle of his Order, proceeded to assist in 
those peaceful acts of charity which were ever being 
performed within his convent walls. 

So long as the Order remained in Palestine did this 
state of things continue. During that period they had 
amassed, from the donations and bequests of the pious, 
an enormous and ever-increasing wealth. This wealth 
had brought in its train many evils and much de- 
generacy. It had made them many bitter enemies, and 


had rendered lukewarm many of their most enthusiastic 
friends ; still we never hear, amongst the many crimes 
laid to their charge, even by the most rancorous of their 
foes, that of negligence in this the fundamental obliga- 
tion of their profession. But, after their expulsion from 
Palestine, a rapid change speedily took place in this 
particular. Established in the island of Rhodes, the 
great demand which had once existed for their charity 
and hospitality was annihilated. There were no longer 
sick and weary pilgrims to cheer upon their way ; the 
requirements of their hospital in the island-home they 
had adopted soon became only those which the slender 
population in whose midst they were located demanded ; 
and thus we find that noble establishment, which in 
previous ages had called forth the enthusiastic admira- 
tion of all Christians in the Holy Land, dwarfed down 
to a very limited extent. Members of the fraternity, 
and indeed strangers of every description, could still, 
when sick, procure every needful assistance from the 
hospital of the Order, and care was taken to render 
that hospital as perfect and convenient as possible ; but 
it was at best but a pigmy affair after the comprehen- 
sive and noble establishment which they had originally 
reared within the precincts of the sacred city. 

Their translation to Malta produced no change in this 
respect. Mindful of their old traditions, one of their 
earliest measures, when establishing their convent upon 
the rocky inlets of their new home, was to found a 
hospital, and when they removed that convent to the 
new city, built by their great chief, this institution 
naturally followed in the general move. The hospital 
of Valetta was, and still is, a capacious building, and 
bears evidence of having been extensively used for the 


purposes to which it was devoted ; still it was but a 
Hospital, and as such diflFered but little from other 
modern institutions of the same class. Great care, 
however, appears to have been displayed in framing the 
statutes relating to its maintenance. Supreme in its 
governance was the conventual bailiff of the language 
of France, the grand-hospitaller, who nominated from 
amongst the Knights of his own language an overseer 
of the infirmary, under whose immediate charge the 
whole institution was placed. The religious functions 
of the establishment were performed by a prior and 
sub-prior, who were also appointed by the hospitaller, 
subject however to the approval of the Grand-Master 
and council. As a committee of inspection over these 
officials the Grand-Master and council appointed two 
" prud'hommes," or controllers of the infirmary, who 
were held responsible for its proper management, and 
who were bound, by frequent inspections, to satisfy them- 
selves that the overseer, the prior, and those under 
them, performed their duties. 

Physicians were retained in pay of the Order for 
duty in the hospital, and the statutes thus express 
themselves respecting them : " Physicians shall be 
employed for the cure of the sick, experienced and 
talented, who shall be bound to take a vow, before the 
eight brethren of the languages, that they will watch 
over the sick with great care, and according to the 
prescribed rules of medical science, and that they will 
visit them twice a day, that they will order such 
things as are necessary for their cure, and will carry 
them out without delay in spite of every obstacle. 
They shall receive their salaries from the funds of the 
common treasury, and are strictly forbidden to receive 


any remuneration for their services from the sick." 
Two surgeons were also appointed to act with the 
physicians in such matters as fell within their province. 
The overseer was bound to visit the patients twice 
every night, at the hour of vespers and at break of day. 
The prud'hommes were responsible that this duty was 
performed. All the utensils in the hospital, even those 
devoted to the humblest purposes, were of silver. This 
was less as a matter of ostentation than cleanliness, 
since, although made of that precious metal, they were 
perfectly plain and devoid of all ornament. With 
regard to diet, it was laid down as follows : " Inasmuch 
as the more pure and good as is the food, the more it 
assists in the nourishment of the human body, we decree 
that for this purpose the overseer shall always keep a 
supply of the best and most excellent food, such as chicken, 
fowls, &c., together with good bread and pure wine." 

The burial of such as died within the hospital was 
decently and carefully ordered. Four men, di-essed in 
mourning robes, carried the corpse to the grave, and 
with a laudable economy it was especially provided 
that these robes, which were kept for the purpose, 
" should be preserved for another time." No mourning 
was permitted to be worn at the funeral of any member 
of the Order, either by the fraternity themselves, or 
even by strangers attending the ceremony. The corpse 
was buried in the mantle of his Order, as it was con- 
sidered proper that in his grave he should wear the 
same distinctive costume with which he had been 
invested during his life. 

The Hospital of St. John had, from its earliest 
foundation, been esteemed a sanctuary, within which 
fugitives from justice might escape the fangs of the 
law. The exceptions to this right of sanctuary became, 


however, by successive decrees so numerous, that it is 
difficult to conceive what crimes remained for which it 
continued to afford a shelter. These exceptions were 
as follows : — " No assassins shall find protection there, 
nor those who pillage and ravage the country by night, 
nor incendiaries, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor con- 
spirators, nor those who have been found guilty of 
having caused the death of any one, either by secret 
treachery or in cold blood, or by poison, or by treason. 
No servant of any of the brethren shall find sanctuary 
there, nor those who have offered any violence, either 
to them or to our judges and other ministers of justice, 
nor debtors, nor such malicious persons as may have 
committed crimes within the infirmary, under an idea 
that it was a sanctuary, nor, lastly, lawyers or witnesses 
convicted of perjury, nor murderers who infest the 
roads to rob and kill the passers by." 

Reduced though the Hospital of St. John undoubt- 
edly was during the later years of the Order's existence, 
it was, nevertheless, freely open to all who sought its 
hospitable shelter, and the kindly ministrations of its 
officials. Patients flocked to Malta from Sicily, Italy, 
and other maritime countries, whose shores were washed 
by the Mediterranean, and none who sought admittance 
were ever turned from their portals. As many as a 
thousand patients were at times assembled within the 
infirmary at Malta, and the charges for so large an 
establishment formed a very considerable item in the 
annual expenditure of the treasury. 

It has already been mentioned that the legislative 
powers of the Order were exclusively vested in the 
general chapter, whilst its executive functions were 
intrusted to the Grand-Master and council. It will be 
well now to enter into some detail as to the composition 


both of the chapter and the councils. The general 
chapter, which was the original assembly of the frater- 
nity, was, during the earlier years of its existence, held 
regularly every five years, and in cases of emergency, 
was often convened even between those periods. Gra- 
dually, however, a longer time was allowed to elapse 
between each chapter, until they came to be assembled 
only once in ten years ; and eventually they were almost 
entirely discontinued, only one having been convened 
during the eighteenth centuiy. 

Many reasons may be alleged for the abandonment of 
this ancient council. The immense expense which 
invariably attended its convocation, the extreme incon- 
venience and detriment to the interests of the commu- 
nity in calling away so many of its provincial chiefs 
from the seats of their respective governments, the 
turbulence which so often characterised their meetings, 
and the difficulty which the Grand-Masters invariably 
experienced in carrying out their views in an assembly 
where their interests had but a very slender predomi- 
nance, were all so many causes to check their frequent 
convocation. In the absence of a chapter, the Grand- 
Master carried on the government with the aid and 
intervention of a council only, and in these latter assem- 
blies he was enabled to obtain a far greater influence, 
and a more complete subservience, than he could ever 
expect from the chapter. 

The summoning of a chapter-general lay entirely with 
the Grand-Master or the Pope: we have already ad- 
duced reasons to show why the former should, as far as 
possible, neglect to assemble them ; and the same views 
in a great measure actuated the pontiff in adopting 
a similar line of conduct, since, in the absence of a 
chapter-general, all legislative powers were vested in 



himself, powers which the court of Rome were never 
backward in assuming to their full extent. 

The following is a correct list of the dignitaries who 
held a seat at the chapter-general, in the order of their 
rank. It will be seen that the Turcopolier was included 
as eighth on this list, though since the reformation this 
dignity had been lost to the Order. The Grand-Master, 
by virtue of his office, presided at the chapter, either in 
person, or by his lieutenant ; after him came — 

28. The Grand-Prior of Germany. 

29. The Grand-Prior of Ireland. 

1. The Bishop of Malta. 

2. The Prior of the Church. 

3. The Bailiff of Provence. 

4. The Bailiff of Auvergne. 

5. The Bailiff of France. 

6. The Bailiff of Italy. 

7. The Bailiff of Aragon. 

8. The Bailiff of England. 

9. The Bailiff of Germany. 

10. The Bailiff of Castile. 

11. The Grand-Prior of St. Gilles. 

12. The Grand-Prior of Au- 


13. The Grand-Prior of France. 

14. TheGrand-PriorofAquitaine. 

15. The Grand-Prior of Cham- 


1 6. The Grand-Prior of Toulouse. 

17. The Grand-Prior of Rome. 

18. The Grand-Prior of Lorn- 


19. The Grand-Prior of Venice. 

20. The Grand-Prior of Pisa. 

2 1 . The Grand-Prior of Burletta. 

22. The Grand-Prior of England. 

23. The Grand-Prior of Capua. 

24. The Castellan of Emposta. 

25. The Grand-Prior of Portugal. 

26. The Grand- Prior of Messina. 

27. The Grand-Prior of Navarre. 

30. The Grand-Prior of Bohemia- 

3 1 . The Grand-Prior of Hungary. 

32. The Bailiff of St. Euphemia. 

33. The Grand-Prior of Cata- 


34. The Bailiff of Negropont 

35. The Bailiff of the Morea. 

36. The Bailiff of Venusia. 

37. The Bailiff of St. Stephen. 

38. The BaiUff of Majorca. 

39. The Bailiff of St John of 


40. The Bailiff of Lyons. 

41. The Bailiff of Manosque. 

42. The Bailiff of Brandenburg. 

43. The Bailiff of Caspa. 

44. The Bailiff of Lora. 

45. The Bailiff of the Eagle. 

46. The Bailiff of Lango. 

47. The Bailiff of St. Sepulchre. 

48. The Bailiff of Cremona. 

49. The Grand-Treasurer. 

50. The Bailiff of NeuviUas. 

51. The Bailiff of Acre. 

52. The Bailiff of La Rocella. 

53. The Bailiff of Armenia. 

54. The Bailiff of Carlostad. 

55. The BaUiff of St. Sebastian. 


Such of the above dignitaries as were not able to attend 
in person at the assembly of the chapter, were bound to 
send thither duly authorised proxies to act in their 
stead ; the time and place of meeting having been fixed 
upon by the Grand- Master, approved by the Pope, and 
duly notified to the various members whose rank entitled 
them to a seat in the assembly. The first step taken, 
after the chapter had commenced its sittings and divine 
service had been performed before it, was the nomination 
of three commanders of diflFerent languages, to verify 
the proxies named to act for absent members, and to 
guarantee their validity. That ceremony having been 
concluded, the place of each member was fixed in accord- 
ance with the foregoing list, and the chapter-general 
declared duly open. In token of homage to its sovereign 
authority, each member tendered as a tribute a purse 
containing five pieces of silver. The marshal brought 
into the hall the grand standard of the Order, which he 
surrendered to the chapter; and the other high dignitaries 
at the same time delivered up the ensigns of their various 
offices, which were not returned to them until the 
chapter had passed a fresh grant for that purpose. A 
second committee of three members was also nominated, 
each of a separate language, to receive petitions, and to 
organise the business to be laid before the chapter. 

In order to expedite the business, for the despatch of 
which they had been convened, and as in so large an 
assembly it must otherwise have been most inconve- 
niently protracted, a committee of sixteen commanders 
was elected, who became the real working body, to whom 
the powers of the chapter were delegated. Each lan- 
guage elected two of its own members to act on this 
committee, and the chapter at large elected two others 
to represent the absent language of England. This 


committee of sixteen took the oaths before the chapter, 
that they would legislate honestly and fearlessly for the 
public weal ; and the remaining members of the chapter, 
including the Grand-Master, also took an oath, binding 
themselves to abide by the decisions and decrees of the 
committee. The vice-chancellor, the secretary of the 
treasury, and the Grand-Master's solicitor, all took part 
in the meetings and debates of this committee, but were 
not invested with the privilege of a vote, which was 
reserved exclusively for the sixteen members nominated 
by the chapter. 

The statutes have decreed that the following should 
be the order in which business was to be transacted by 
the committee. They were first to analyse and inves- 
tigate the incidence and pressure of the various imposts 
decreed by previous chapters, and to make such altera- 
tions therein as the state of the public revenues and 
the exigencies of the fraternity might render necessary ; 
they were afterwards to inspect the governance of the 
treasury, and satisfy themselves of the correctness of its 
administration. The records of the Order were then 
all to be passed in review before them, after which they 
should proceed to reform such abuses as had crept into 
the institution, and to pass such new laws as might be 
deemed necessary, abrogating all statutes which ap- 
peared to them no longer suitable to the organisation 
of the fraternity. In conclusion, they were to deal 
with any matters of a general nature which might be 
brought before them and which were not included under 
the preceding heads. 

The matters having been all debated and decided on 
by a majority of votes taken by ballot, the chapter were 
once more assembled, and the decrees of their com- 



mittee promulgated and sanctioned. The business then 
closed with divine service, in the course of which the 
following prayers were oflfered in succession: — For 
peace, for plenty, for the Pope, for the cardinals and 
other prelates, for the emperor and other Christian 
princes, for the Grand-Master, for the bailiflFs and 
priors, for the brothers of the Hospital, for the sick 
and captives, for sinners, for benefactors to the Hos- 
pital, and lastly, for the confraria and all connected 
with the Order. The duration of a general chapter 
had been very wisely limited to sixteen days, in order 
to check any spirit of opposition and factious debate 
by which it might otherwise have been indefinitely 
prolonged. If, at the conclusion of that time, any 
business remained unsettled, it was disposed of by a 
council of reservation elected by the chapter prior to 
its dissolution. The chapter was the ultimate court 
of appeal from the decisions of the various councils, and 
in its default that appeal lay with the court of Rome. 
Provincial chapters were annually held in every 
grand-priory, presided over by the prior or his lieu- 
tenant, at which every commander within the district 
was bound to attend either personally or by proxy. The 
local interests of the fraternity were discussed at these 
provincial sessions, and all matters disposed of which 
did not concern the Order at large, but only that 
branch of it located within the priory. The appeal 
from this court lay with the council of the Order at 
Malta. The code of laws, called the statutes of the Order, 
were the result of the decrees of a succession of chapters- 
general, no alterations, additions, or omissions to this 
code being introduced by any authority short of that 
which originally called it into existence. 


The duty of the Grand-Master, as head of the Order, 
consisted merely in enforcing obedience to the laws 
thus laid down, and even in this comparatively subor- 
dinate office he was not permitted to act alone, but was 
associated with a council, without whose concurrence 
and sanction none of his decrees were legal, and he 
himself rendered utterly powerless. The councils of 
the Order in their convent home were of four kinds, viz. 
the complete, the ordinary, the secret, and the criminal ; 
the latter being also sometimes called the council of 
state. The composition of the latter three were pre- 
cisely similar, but differed in their extent from the first. 

The complete council consisted of the Grand-Master 
or his lieutenant, as president ; the bishop of Malta, 
the prior of the church, the eight conventual bailiffs or 
their lieutenants acting for them, the grand-treasurer 
or his lieutenant, and any other grand-cross who might 
chance to be present at the convent on the occasion. 
To these dignitaries were added two members from 
each language, who were bound to be Knights of Justice 
and residents in the convent for eight years. The 
seniors of each language, undecorated with the grand- 
cross, were usually elected for this office, the nomina- 
tion resting with the languages themselves. The period 
of assembly for the court lay at the option of the 
Grand-Master, but it could only be held in the council- 
chamber of his palace, wherein it differed from the 
other councils, which might be convened wherever he 
thought fit to appoint. Before this court all appeals 
were brought against the decisions and sentences of the 
ordinary and criminal councils, the ultimate appeal 
being with the chapter-general, or, in its default, with 
the papal court. 

B 2 


The following was the order of procedure upon the 
occasion. The Grand- Master having fixed the hour at 
which the council was to meet, the master of the horse 
gave due notice to that eflfect to all the members 
authorised to be present on the occasion. The great 
bell of St. John's church tolled for half an hour at the 
appointed time, during which interval the councillors 
assembled within their hall. At its expiration, the 
Grand-Master took his place under the dais appropriated 
for his use, and the business of the council commenced. 
Should any one of the conventual bailiflFs be absent, as 
well as his lieutenant, it became necessary to fill the 
vacancy, and the master of the horse announced the 
fact thus, "the senior member for the language of 

, the commander ," whereupon the Knight so 

named took his place with the other councillors. As 
the language of England was virtually extinct, and 
neither a conveaitual bailiff nor his lieutenant could ever 
be present for that tongue, the senior member resident 
in the convent, not otherwise admissible to the council, 
was named to fill the vacancy. The same thing was 
also done to supply the two members for the English 
language required to form a complete counciL 

The court being thus duly organised, the vice-chan- 
cellor announced the various matters to be brought 
under discussion, and which usually consisted of appeals 
from the decisions of the inferior courts. In any case 
requiring pleading, the rival parties were bound to ap- 
pear in person, unless they could show a good and suffi- 
cient reason for employing a deputy. The following 
exceptions were made to this general rule. Members 
of the English and German languages were permitted 
the use of deputies, as they could not have made them- 


selves intelligible to the council in their own tongue. 
Knights who were unavoidably absent from the convent 
when their causes came on for hearing, might provide 
substitutes duly authorised to appear in their behalf, 
and the same privilege was also accorded to all Knights 
of the grand-cross, who were never required to plead 
their causes in person. It appears, indeed, to have 
been a main object in framing these regulations to check 
litigation as far as possible amongst the fraternity, and 
the " custom " or preamble, which is attached to the 
statutes relating to the various councils of the Order, 
marks this principle most distinctly. It says : " In 
order that our brethren may study hospitality, and the 
noble exercise of arms, rather than embroil themselves 
in litigation and in legal discussions, our predecessors 
have handed down the following very laudable custom : 
whenever differences shall arise between our brethren, 
they shall be decided in council summarily, that is to 
say, there shall be no writings upon the subject in dis- 
pute, the parties shall plead their cause in person, and 
state their cases simply, after which judgment shall be 
passed. Writings which have been previously made, 
and not prepared expressly for the purpose, may be 
produced in evidence, as also such witnesses as may be 
required, and if necessary the depositions of these latter 
may be reduced to writing." 

The case under consideration having been thus clearly 
stated and responded to, the court was cleared for pur- 
poses of deliberation, and after the members had had 
free opportunity of expressing their sentiments on the 
matter by an ample debate, the various opinions of 
each speaker being retained in profound secrecy without 
the court, a ballot was taken, the result of which decided 

R 3 


the case. The court was reopened, the public once 
more admitted, and the sentence which had been decreed 
announced by the vice-chancellor, and recorded in the 

The remaining three councils were composed of the 
same members as those present at the complete council, 
with the exception of the two senior members of each 
language. In these councils, therefore, every member 
was a Knight of the grand-cross. The ordinary council 
could not be held without the presence of the eight 
conventual bailiffs or their lieutenants, or Knights ap- 
pointed temporarily to act as their proxies. None of 
the other members, however, were bound to be present^ 
and the council was legally constituted though no one 
appeared but the eight above-mentioned dignitaries, 
presided over by the Grand-Master or his lieutenant. 
The form of procedure at this court was precisely simi- 
lar to that of the complete council, and at it all nomi- 
nations to vacant dignities were made, all disputes 
arising therefrom decided, and the ordinary business 
connected with the government of the Order transacted. 
This was the council most usually employed by the 
Grand-Master, who might assemble it any time and in 
any place he thought proper. No subject could be 
introduced except with his sanction and approval, and 
as all grand-crosses had a voice in the council, he was 
enabled, by a batch of fresh creations of honorary grand- 
crosses, to carry any measure upon which opinions were 
divided in the convent. The secret council, which was 
similarly constituted, took cognisance of such matters of 
internal and foreign policy as were not considered fit 
subjects for publicity, and its proceedings were always 
retained strictly private. The criminal council, which 


was also composed of the same members, received and 
adjudicated on all complaints lodged against individuals 
pertaining to the Order, who were arraigned before them, 
and sentence was declared in consonance with the 

The mention of this council leads naturally to a dis- 
cussion of the crimes and punishments common amongst 
the fraternity. The punishments to which a member 
of the Order of St. John was subject, were as follows : — 
first, " The Septaine." This penalty obliged the offender 
to fast for seven days successively, on the Wednesday 
and Friday of which he was restricted to bread and 
water only. He was not permitted to leave his home 
during the period, except to attend divine service. The 
statutes of the Order laid down that on the Wednesday 
and Friday of his punishment he was to receive discipline 
at the hands of a priest (usually the vice-prior), in the 
conventual church of St. John, during the recitation of 
the psalm " Deus misereatur nostri," &c. This latter 
portion of the punishment fell into disuse after the 
sixteenth century. The Quarantaine was similar to the 
Septaine, excepting that it lasted for forty consecutive 
days, during every Wednesday and Friday of which 
bread and water were to be the penitent's only food. In 
either case the offending party was restricted from 
wearing his arms whilst under punishment. 

If a more severe penalty was required than either of 
the above, imprisonment was resorted to, no limit to 
which was affixed by the statutes. Loss of seniority 
was another penalty to which offending members were 
frequently sentenced ; and if a still more severe punish- 
ment was necessary, they were deprived of their habit 
for a certain period, or for ever. The latter sentence 

B 4 


was equivalent to expulsion from the ranks of the fra- 
ternity. No punishment of death was recognised within 
their code; but if a Knight were guilty of a crime 
which was deemed of sufficient magnitude to require 
such a penalty, he was stripped of his habit as a pre- 
liminary measure, and then, as no longer remaining a 
member of the Order, he was transferred to the civil 
authorities, and received by their decree the punishment 
due to his crimes. The records of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries mention several instances of capital 
punishment which had been inflicted in this manner on 
quondam members of the Order. The most usual 
method of carrying out the last sentence of the law was 
borrowed from that adopted by the Turks in making 
away with the ladies -of their harem upon suspicion of 
frailty, and consisted in fastening up the condemned 
individual in a sack and throwing him into the Marsa 
Musceit. The infliction of torture was never authorised 
by the statutes, but at the same time it was never for- 
bidden, and the criminal records show that it was very 
commonly resorted to, in order to extort confession from 
suspected persons. No rank was sufficiently elevated 
to save a prisoner from this test. It will be remembered 
that during the second siege of Rhodes the chancellor 
D' Amaral was subjected to torture, in order to endeavour 
to elicit a confession of traitorous correspondence on his 
part ; and that this was by no means a solitary instance 
a careful study of the criminal documents now in the 
Record office of Malta will speedily show. 

The eighteenth division of the statutes is devoted to 
an enumeration of the various acts forbidden to members 
of the Order, and the punishments which were to follow 
their perpetration. No member was to make a testa- 


mentary disposition of more than the one fifth portion 
of his property ; the remainder reverting to the treasury 
of the Order. They were never to mix themselves up 
in the quarrels of secular persons, whether princes or 
private individuals ; they were not to interfere with the 
administration of justice by interceding for an offending 
brother. They were never to wander from their com- 
manderies or priorieSi so as in the words of the statute 
"to make vagabonds of themselves." This regulation 
prohibited the^r leaving the precincts of their own com- 
manderies or priories, except on good cause, and then 
with the written permission of the grand-prior in the 
case of a commander, or of the Grand-Master in the 
case of a prior. Any person connected with the Order 
finding an offender against this statute " enacting the 
vagabond," was bound to secure him, and give notice of 
his imprisonment to the grand-prior under whose juris- 
diction he was. The same regulation held good as 
regarded the convent at Malta. 

Members were strictly prohibited from making use of 
letters of recommendation, either to the Grand-Master 
or to members of his council, to secure priority of nomi- 
nation to any office or dignity, under a penalty of the 
loss of ten years of seniority. No privateering expe- 
ditions against the Infidel were permitted without 
sanction previously obtained from the Grand-Master and 
council. This sanction was, however, always readily 
granted, and the time spent in such cruises was allowed 
to count as part of the necessary residence of the Knight 
in the convent, and towards his caravans. No safe 
conduct was to be given to any Infidel, or other corsair, 
except by the Grand-Master and council, who alone 
were authorised to establish truces with the natural 


enemy of the Order. No member was to intermeddle 
in the wars of Christian princes, or to take any part 
therein, even on the side of his own native country. 

Any member of the Order appearing in public with- 
out the distinctive dress of his profession, that is, with- 
out the cross in white linen cloth sewn upon his robe, 
was for the first oflFence to undergo the quarantaine; for 
the second, to be confined for three months in the tower ; 
and, for the third, to be stripped of his habit. The 
following decree against turbulence in the inns might 
be promulgated and enforced with advantage in many 
instances at the present day : " If any of the brethren 
behave insolently and in a turbulent manner in the 
inns where they dine, and if amidst the tumult and 
noise they break the doors, the windows, the chairs, or 
the tables, or any articles of that nature, or if they 
upset and disarrange them with reckless audacity, they 
shall be punished by the Grand-Master and council, in 
such manner as they may decree, even to the loss of 
their seniority. If they conduct themselves still more 
outrageously, and beat the pages, the servants, or the 
slaves of the conventual bailiffs, for the first offence, if 
no blood be spilt, they shall be punished with the qua- 
rantaine ; for the second, they shall be imprisoned in the 
tower; and, for the third, they shall lose two years' 
seniority. If, on the other hand, blood shall have been 
spilt, no matter how slight the wound may have been, 
for the first offence they shall be imprisoned in the 
tower for six months ; and if the wound be serious and 
dangerous they shall lose seniority. If any member 
shall insult another in the palace of the Grand-Master, 
he shall lose three years' seniority, if he has it already, 
or if not, as soon as he shall have attained it ; for an 


insult in an inn he shall lose two years. If the dispu- 
tants come to blows they shall be stripped of the habit ; 
and, if either party be wounded, they shall lose their 
habit without remission, and if he be killed they shall 
be handed over to the secular power." 

The following are the crimes for which the statutes 
decreed the loss of habit in perpetuity to members of 
the Order : " Those convicted of being heretics, sodom- 
ites, assassins, or thieves; those who have joined the 
ranks of the Infidel, amongst whom are to be classed 
those who surrender our standard, or other ensign, when 
it is unfurled in presence of the enemy ; also those who 
abandon their comrades during the fight, or who give 
shelter to the Infidel, together with all who are parties 
to, or cognisant of, so great a treason." Privation of 
habit for one year was to be inflicted upon any one who, 
" when under arms, shall have left his ranks to plunder, 
also upon any one who brings an accusation against 
another without being enabled to substantiate his charge. 
A Knight who has committed a murder shall be deprived 
of his habit in perpetuity, and kept in prison, in order 
to prevent others from becoming so hardened as to 
commit a similar crime, and that the company of our 
brethren may be quiet and peaceable. Whoever wounds 
any person treasonably, in secret, or by malice prepense, 
shall lose his habit in perpetuity." 

The question of duelling was one which was rather 
curiously dealt with in the statutes and customs of the 
Order. It was strictly forbidden by the former, and the 
severest penalties attached to any infringement of the 
law, which ran thus : " In order to check the impiety of 
those who, neglecting the safety of their souls, invite 
others to a duel, and expose their bodies to a cruel 


death, we decree that if one brother provokes another, 
or if he defies him, either by speech or in writing, 
by means of a second, or in any other manner, and 
that the one who is called out does not accept the 
duel, in addition to the penalties decreed by the sacred 
council, and by the constitution of Gregory XIIL of 
blessed memory, the appellant shall be deprived of his 
habit in perpetuity, without any remission. If his an- 
tagonist accepts the challenge, even if neither party 
appears on the ground, they shall be nevertheless both 
deprived of their habits without hope of pardon. But 
should they both have proceeded to the place of assign 
nation, even though no blood should have been spilt, 
they shall not only be deprived of their habit, but shall 
also be afterwards handed over to the secular power. 
In addition, we decree that whoever shall have been the 
cause of any such duel or defiance, or who shall have 
given either advice, assistance, or council, either by 
word or deed, or who upon any pretence whatever shall 
have persuaded any one to issue a challenge, if it shall 
be proved that he accompanied him to act as his second, 
he shall be condemned to lose his habit. The same 
penalty we likewise attach to those who shall be proved 
to have been present at a duel, or of having posted or 
caused to be posted a cartel of defiance in any spot 

The above law relates only to a regular premeditated 
duel, but brawls and fracas are punished under the 
following statute : " If a brother strike another brother 
he shall be placed in the quarantaine ; if he strike 
him in such a manner that blood be drawn elsewhere 
than from the mouth or nose, he shall be stripped of 
his habit. If he shall have attempted to wound him 


with a knife, a sword, or a stone, and has not succeeded 
in doing so, he shall be placed in the quarantaine." This 
statute was moderated by a subsequent one, passed at 
a general chapter, during the rule of La Cassifere, giving 
the Grand-Master and council authority to moderate the 
rigour of the penalty. 

The laws against duelling were found to be so severe, 
and the impracticability of checking the practice so evi- 
dent in a fraternity which embraced in its ranks so many 
young and hot-headed spirits, men as keenly alive to an 
aflfront as they were ready to resent it, and who regarded 
personal courage as the first of all human virtues, that 
some modification or evasion was essentially necessary. 
It became gradually tacitly recognised that duels might 
be held in a particular locality, set apart for that pur- 
pose, without incurring the above-mentioned penalties. 
It had been expressly stipulated that no fighting was 
permitted either upon the ramparts, or without the 
town. There exists however, in Malta, a street so nar- 
row as to be called, par excellence " Strada Stretta," 
and this was the spot marked out as a kind of neutral 
territory, in the which irascible cavaliers might expend 
their superfluous courage. The fiction which led to this 
concession was that a combat in this street was to be 
looked upon in the light of a casual encounter, occa- 
sioned by a collision, owing to the extreme narrowness 
of the road. This street consequently became eventually 
the great rendezvous for afilairs of honour. It was, in 
fact, the Chalk Farm of Malta, and numerous crosses 
carved in the walls on either side still mark the sites 
where encounters resulted in a fatal issue. The seconds 
posted themselves, one on either side, at some little dis- 
tance from their principals, and, with their swords drawn, 


prevented the passers-by from approaching the scene of 
strife until it had been brought to a conclusion. 

The records of the criminal council for the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries teem with entries of stabbing, 
wounding, and killing, most of which were the result 
either of premeditated duels, or of casual encounters. 
When they were the former, the punishment depended 
greatly upon whether the authorised spot had been re- 
sorted to, and if so, the penalty was comparatively tri- 
vial, being either a quarantaine, or two months' impri- 

The punishment for duelling being thus severe, it was 
necessary for the statutes to provide some protection to 
the peaceably disposed from the violence of ill temper, 
and the insults of either jealousy or hatred. We find, 
therefore, the following decree under the head of in- 
sults : " If a brother, in the heat of his anger, whilst 
quarrelling with another brother, shall make use of 
insulting language, he shall be punished by the * quaran- 
taine,' even though he shall subsequently admit that he 
has spoken falsely, and shall apologise for the insult. 
If he shall boldly give him the lie direct, he shall lose 
two years' seniority ; and if he strikes him with a stick, 
or gives him a blow with his hand, he shall lose three 

The question of duelling having been disposed of, 
the statutes proceed to provide against the nuisance 
to respectable householders of midnight revellers dis- 
turbing their households. The following statute proves 
that fast young men in the middle ages committed very 
nearly the same follies as in the present day : " Whoever 
shaU enter into the house of a citizen without being 
invited, and against the wish of the head of the family, 


or who shall disturb the social gatherings of the people 
during their festivals, dances, weddings, or other similar 
occasions, shall lose two years of seniority, without hope 
of pardon. And if, either by day or by night, they do 
any damage to the doors or windows of the people, 
then, in addition to the above-named penalties, they 
shall suflfer a rigid imprisonment, such as may be de- 
creed by the Grand-Master and council. Any member 
of the Order joining in masquerades or ballets, shall 
suflfer loss of seniority." This statute was still further 
defined by an addition made by the Grand-Master 
Claude de la Sengle : — " If any one shall be so bold as 
to damage doors or windows by night, or who shall stop 
thera up with plaster, or stain them with dirt, or who 
shall throw stones at them, shall lose three years of 
seniority, leaving it to the discretion of the Grand- 
Master and council to decree a severer punishment." 

The original profession of a Knight of the Order of 
St. John having included the three vows of obedience, 
poverty, and chastity, the statutes, after having decreed 
such penalties as were necessary to check all trans- 
gressions of the two first of these vows, proceeded to 
deal with the last. The question of chastity was one 
not easily encountered in an Order constituted like that 
of the Hospital. On the one hand, as a religious fra- 
ternity, devoted to the service of God and practice of 
charity and all good works, it was impossible to recog- 
nise any license or infraction of the strictest laws of 
continence and chastity. The monk in his cloistered 
retreat, mortifying all sensual appetites by constant 
fasts and ever-recurring vigils, was not supposed to be 
more free from earthly passions than the Knight of St. 
John. We all know, however, how widely even the 


secluded inmates of the monasteries constantly strayed 
from the strict paths of virtue, and it was not to be 
anticipated that the members of the military Orders, 
surrounded as they were with such vastly increased 
temptations, could have maintained themselves more 
free from vice and immorality. Composed of the youth 
of high and noble families, in no way secluded from 
female society, but mingling with the gayest of either 
sex, taught to look more upon military renown than 
ascetic piety as the rightful adornment of their pro- 
fession, it was not to be expected that they would act 
rigidly up to the letter of the vow they had taken. 
The statutes, therefore, do not attempt to forbid a- dere- 
liction of chastity, but content themselves with checking 
all open display of immorality. " It has been very 
rightly ordained that no member of our brotherhood, 
of whatever position or rank he may be, shall be per- 
mitted to support, maintain, or consort with women of 
loose character, either in their houses or abroad. If 
any one, abandoning his honour and reputation, shall 
be so barefaced as to act in opposition to this regula- 
tion, and shall render himself publicly infamous, after 
having been three times warned by his superior to 
desist from this vice, we decree, after the expiration of 
forty days from the date of his first warning, he shall, 
if a commander, be deprived of his commandery, and, 
if a simple brother of the convent, he shall lose his 
seniority. If any member of our Order shall be so 
barefaced as to recognise, and publicly to adopt as his 
own, a child who may be bom to him from an illegiti- 
mate connexion (such as is not recognised by law), and 
attempt to bestow on him the name of his family, we 
decree that he shall never hold either office, benefice^ or 


dignity in our Order. We further decree, that all 
associates of loose women, who may be ranked as in- 
cestuous, sacrilegious, and adulterers, shall be declared 
incapable of possessing any property, or of holding any 
office or dignity in our Order. And we designate as an 
associate of loose women not only those who are no- 
torious evil-livers, and have had judgment passed on 
them as such, but also any one who, without any sense 
of shame or fear of God, and forgetting his profession, 
shall entertain and support a woman of doubtful cha- 
racter, notorious for her bad life and evil conversation, 
or who shall reside with her constantly." 

These statutes were so ambiguously worded, and left 
so many loopholes for evasion, that it is not surprising 
they should gradually have become a dead letter. The 
presence of a large number of prostitutes within the 
convent became a public scandal at a very early period, 
and many Grand-Masters, even during the residence of 
the Order at Rhodes, sought, by the most rigorous 
statutes, to mitigate the evil. Prohibitions were, how- 
ever, utterly powerless, and as the Order lost more and 
more of the religious enthusiasm which had prompted 
its early founders, so did the dissoluteness of their lives 
become more outrageously opposed to the principles of 
their profession. After the successful termination of 
the siege of Malta had left the fraternity in undisputed 
sovereignty of that island, and had raised their military 
renown to the highest possible pitch, they appeared to 
have become intoxicated with the admiration they had 
excited throughout Europe ; and, throwing off all 
restraint, to have abandoned themselves to the wildest 
and most reckless debauchery. 

At this period the city of Valetta was positively 

VOL II. s 


teeming with prostitutes, and all women in the neigh- 
bouring countries, who considered themselves possessed 
of sufficient charms, and who were ready to make a 
traffic of their persons, flocked to that island as the 
spot where they could find the readiest market for 
their wares. The streets were thronged by the frail 
beauties of Spain, Italy, Sicily, and the Levant; nor 
were the dark-eyed moors of Tripoli and Tunis wanting 
to complete an array of seduction and temptation, such 
as might have proved too strong for aught but a saint 
to resist. Saints, however, there were none in the 
convent of Malta in those days, or if they did exist, it 
was in so slender a minority that the demireps and 
their followers had it all their o>vn way. We have 
seen that the attempts of La Cassi&re to check this 
great and growing scandal were followed by a general 
revolt and his own imprisonment, which sentence was 
carried into eflect amidst the derisive jeers of crowds of 
flaunting Cyprians whom he had in vain endeavoured, 
for decency's sake, to banish into the adjoining casals 
and villages. 

This period may be marked as the worst and most 
openly and grossly immoral epoch in the history of 
the fraternity. The evil, to a certain extent, brought 
with it its own remedy ; and, after a while, they became 
scandalised at the notoriety of their own debauchery, 
and the evil reputation which their orgies had brought 
upon them. Gradually, somewhat more of decency 
and moderation found its way into the convent, and 
the frail nymph, who might still desire to trade upon 
her charms, was compelled to maintain a little more 
privacy, and was no longer permitted to flaunt in the 
streets of Valetta in all the shame of open and abandoned 


profligacy. StiU the morality of the fraternity remained 
at a very low ebb, and up to the latest date, the society 
of Malta abounded with scandalous tales and sullied 
reputations. In this the Order of St. John was perhaps 
no worse than might have been anticipated, nor indeed 
than any other association of young unmarried men 
within a narrow circle. The vice prevalent in Valetta 
was probably no greater than that of any other town 
where the bulk of the population was young and un- 
fettered by the obligations of matrimony. The error 
lay in supposing that a vow of chastity, rendered 
compulsory upon all seeking admission into the Order, 
could by any possibility act as a check upon the natural 
depravity of youth, unrestrained as it was in any other 

The annexed abstract gives an extract from the 
criminal records of the Order, during the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, shovring a few of the most im- 
portant and curious trials, with the punishments awarded 
by the council. This statement may be taken as a fair 
specimen of the class of crimes most frequent in the 
convent. Although but one or two of each description 
are here quoted, many of them were of frequent 
occurrence, the most constant being those of homicide 
from duelling and stabbing. Indeed, the entries of 
these two crimes appear interminable, and mark a 
most disorderly and quarrelsome spirit amongst the 
fraternity, which however is not perhaps to be 
wondered at, when it is remembered that youths of so 
many different nations were congregated together, who 
would ill brook even an idle jest, when uttered by a 
member of a rival language. 

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Of course, in many instances, these punishments be- 
came mere formal decrees, the delinquents being out of 
the reach of the Order at the time. Whenever the 
conduct of a member, once professed into the fraternity, 
became such as to render him unworthy to continue in 
the institution, he was, as a matter of form, arraigned 
before the council and stripped of his habit, even 
though he had previously absconded. There are several 
instances of this kind in the above list. 

Before the islands of Malta and Gozo fell under the 
sway of the Order of St. John, through the act of 
donation granted by the emperor Charles ¥•, they had 
been an appanage of the Spanish monarchy, and attached 
to the viceroyalty of Sicily. Their local government 
had consisted of a governor or hakem, who was com- 
mandant of the military within the islands, and was 
intrusted with ample powers to maintain public tran- 
quillity ; four giurati who acted under him as a council 
for all financial questions, and two catapani for all 
matters relating to food, the great bulk of which was 
imported from Sicily. An officer, named " il secreto," 
received the duties payable on imports, and another, 
named " il portolano," was the superintendent of the 
harbours. Once every year an assembly or parliament 
was convened, which was divided into the three classes 
of nobles, clergy, and commons. This assembly pre- 
pared lists of candidates for the various above-mentioned 
offices, and the viceroy selected from amongst those 
lists the persons by whom they were to be filled. 

When the Knights of St. John superseded the govern- 
ment of the emperor, they maintained the leading 
features of the former administration. The assembly, 
it is true, soon became a dead letter, and the nomina- 



tion to the various offices was made direct by the 
Grand-Master and council ; still this selection was in- 
variably from amongst the Maltese, and their ancient 
customs and privileges were interfered with as little as 
possible. Their code of laws remained in force, and was 
recognised by the fraternity, the duty of carrying it 
into effect being left almost entirely in the hands of the 

There were three legal courts, each presided over by 
a judge, selected from amongst the Maltese ; the first for 
criminal causes, the second for civil matters, and the 
third for appeals from the other two courts, the last 
being the superior of the three. A Knight was, how- 
ever, appointed, who presided over the proceedings of 
these three courts, which were combined under the 
name of the Castellany, but he in no way interfered 
with the administration of justice. He was replaced 
every second year by a fresh nomination. No member 
of the fraternity was, as such, amenable to the tribunals 
of the Maltese; but where his crimes rendered it advis- 
able that he should be punished by sentence of those 
courts, he was stripped of his habit as a preliminary 
measure, and then handed over to their jurisdiction as 
a secular person. 

Throughout the residence of the Order in Malta a 
very broad line of demarcation was drawn between 
themselves and the native population. The Maltese 
had always been a very aristocratic community ; many of 
their old families had been ennobled at a very early 
epoch, and the whole power of government had invari- 
ably been vested in their hands. No more exclusive or 
oligarchical a community existed anywhere throughout 
Europe, and the relics of this state of things may even 


now Still be traced in the island. The Order of St. 
John, eminently aristocratic though it was in its own 
constitution, and naturally jealous of all encroachments 
upon that privileged class from which they themselves 
sprung, and from whom they had drawn all their power 
and all their wealth, appeared, in their connection with 
Malta, to have been actuated by jnore liberal ideas and 
views, and materially enlarged the basis of government 
by extending the field from which they selected their 
native employes. One natural result of this liberal 
policy was a slight alienation and coldness on the part 
of that class who had hitherto monopolised the entire 
governance of the island; and this coldness, coupled 
with the national reserve of the Maltese character, al- 
ways acted to prevent any amalgamation between the 
two parties. 

The Maltese, as such, were not admitted into the 
ranks of the highest class in the Order. Such of them 
as could bring forward the necessary proofs of nobility, 
and were otherwise eligible, could, it was true, become 
received as members of the Italian language, and some, 
even after marriage, upon condition of their wives 
being sent to Italy when about to become mothers ; still 
the number who thus entered the fraternity was but 
trifling, and even they were not ranked in the same 
position as the other members of the language, being 
incapable of occupying the dignity either of Grand- 
Master, or conventual bailiflF. The Order were conse- 
quently always regarded as foreigners by the natives, 
and but little friendship or cordiality was to be traced 
in their social intercourse. It must not, however, be 
inferred from this fact that the Maltese were dissatisfied 
with the rule of the Knights over them. That govern- 


ance was certainly a despotism, and one of the very 
strongest class ; still it was well suited to the habits of 
the people, and was usually wielded with great equity 
and moderation. Those feelings of liberty and free- 
dom of personal action, which characterise the Anglo- 
Saxon temperament, do not exist in more southern 
latitudes, and the decrees and authority of the Grand- 
Master and his council met a ready and cheerful obedi- 
ence from those who were neither anxious nor ready 
to undertake the onerous duty of ruling themselves. 
The Order placed themselves on a decided eminence 
over those they were called upon to govern, and when 
their rival interests came into collision it was but 
natural that the Maltese, as the weaker, should be com- 
pelled to give way. Still on the whole they had not 
much cause for complaint, and there can be no doubt 
that the transfer of their island to the Order of St. John 
had brought with it many very solid advantages to its 

Instead of a few officials and a slender garrison, they 
now saw Malta made the nucleus of the most power- 
ful and wealthy fraternity in Europe. Every land 
contributed its quota to the stream of wealth which 
commenced to pour into the barren and poverty-stricken 
island. The wretched hamlet of the Bourg became a 
considerable city, and its suburbs extended themselves 
over the neighbouring peninsula. Ere long a new city, 
exceeding in extent and magnificence anything which 
the wildest flight of imagination could have pictured in 
bygone years, sprang up, adorned with the inns and 
other public buildings of a fraternity whose ample re- 
venue enabled them thus to beautify their capital. Stores 
of grain accumulated in the public magazines. Ramparts 


and forts arose to protect the island from tHe piratical 
descents of the Infidel, and Malta, from having been 
considered for many ages only a barren and desolate 
rock, rose to be the most important fortress and flourish- 
ing community in the Mediterranean* 

These were important privileges, and the Order, who 
had been enabled to confer such benefits on their new 
subjects, might well stand excused for a slight display of 
arrogance and despotism in the mode of their govern- 
ment. After all it was only with the very highest class, 
the most exclusive of the Maltese nobility, that the new 
government brought itself into ill repute. And with 
them it was not the despotism of the Order, but the 
liberalism which had opened the doors of office to a 
lower class than their own, which had engendered 
their disfavour. Below them there was a rising 
class, containing within its limits much of the am- 
bition and talent of the island, and it was in this class 
that the council had sought for candidates to fill the 
official posts, previously invariably monopolised by the 
nobility. With them, therefore, the Order stood 
in high favour, and whilst on the one hand the old 
nobility held themselves aloof, and on the other the 
lower class of the population grovelled in uncomplaining 
submission to the sway of any power sufficiently ener- 
getic to compel their obedience, this section, comprising 
all the activity and talent of the country, became faith- 
fiil adherents to the system by means of which their 
own emancipation from the dictation of the aristocracy 
had been secured. 

Into this class of Maltese society the Knights of St. 
John found a ready and welcome admission. Even 
here, however, there were great distinctions drawn 


between the various languages, some of which were far 
more popular than others. The French Knights did not 
by any means find favour with the fair ladies who 
swayed the empire of fashion within this coterie ; they 
were too arrogant, self-sufficient, and boastful, ever to 
be received as chosen favourites, or to find a ready 
welcome into their domestic privacy. More than one 
case had occurred in which this boastful tendency on 
the part of Frenchmen, ever ready to imagine their own 
attractions irresistible, had led to the most unpleasant 
results, and had clouded the fair fame of ladies whose 
only fault had perchance consisted in permitting rather 
too free an oflfering of adulation on the part of their 
knightly admirers. By degrees, therefore, this national 
weakness had led to their being regarded with great 
coldness, and their advances being received with the 
utmost caution. 

Whilst the French, however, were thus neglected, 
there were other languages whose members were more 
fortunate. The Germans, in particular, seem to have 
borne the palm of popularity. Their national reserve 
and phlegmatic temperament prevented them from fall- 
ing into the errors of their more vivacious French bre- 
thren, and they were admitted to a footing of intimacy 
and freedom which the latter were never permitted to 
attain. The Spaniards were also very popular, and for 
much the same reason as had brought the Germans into 
favour ; and unless the tales recorded on this head are 
very false, they were usually highly successful in their 
intercourse with the fair ladies of Malta. 

With the lower orders the rule of the Knights was 
usually very popular. The works on which they were 
constantly engaged for the strengthening of their posi- 


tion, yielded a continuous source of employment to th^ 
labouring class, and the ample stores of provisions 
retained in the magazines of Valetta secured them from 
the miseries of scarcity, which in olden times had so 
frequently been the scourge of the island. The Grand- 
Master also sought popularity with this class by pro- 
viding them with amusements during their constant 
holidays. Their privileges in this respect were very 
numerous, and always maintained with the utmost regu- 
larity. The most entertaining of these festivals was the 
carnival, always celebrated in Malta with great splendour 
and variety of costume. The privilege of holding a 
carnival was granted by the Grand-Master, not only on 
the three days immediately preceding Ash Wednesday, 
but also whenever the Order desired to celebrate any 
event of unusual importance. These extra carnivals were 
called Baharro. 

On Shrove Tuesday a Cocagna was given to the 
people. This was a vast structure reared in the square 
before the Grand-Master's palace, and decorated with 
flowers, flags, and ribbons. The Cocagna was hung 
with fruit and provisions of all kinds; live poultry, 
hams, eggs, sausages, &c., were mixed with wreaths of 
flowers and clusters of fruit, the whole presenting a 
most tempting display to the assembled multitude. At 
^ given signal there was a general scramble, and the 
provisions became the property of those sufficiently 
active and fortunate to carry them off; A master of 
the ceremonies was appointed to superintend on this 
occasion, and to give the signal for onslaught. He was 
termed II Gran Viscontij and for the day the adminis- 
tration of the police was intrusted to his care. 

The great festival of the Order, St. John's day, was 


naturally observed >Yith much rejoicing. In the after- 
noon races were held for prizes, to be presented by the 
Grand- Master, and the peculiarity of these races con- 
sisted in the course selected for the purpose. The main 
street of Valetta, called the " Strada Reale/' or Royal 
Street, extends in a straight line from fort St. Elmo to 
the Royal Grate, a distance of upwards of half a mile. 
This was the course over which the races were run, and 
being in the heart of the town, all traffic of every de- 
scription had to be stopped during their continuance. 
On the 1st of May, the old custom of the greasy pole 
was introduced, which the Maltese were very expert in 
surmounting : this was likewise erected in front of the 
Grand-Master's palace. 

In short, every effort appears to have been made by 
the government to render the population contented with 
their lot, so far as contentment could be ensured by a 
plentiful supply of amusement and festivity. In this 
they acted with a due discrimination as to the peculiar 
temperament of the Maltese people. Docile and tract- 
able in the highest degree, they merely required the ex- 
citement of a little innocent recreation to quell any feeling 
of discontent which might have arisen against a govern- 
ment in which their interests were invariably compelled 
to yield to those of the fraternity, and where they had 
little or no voice in the legislation. That that govern- 
ment was, as a general rule, exercised beneficially, the 
rapid progress made by the island clearly proves ; still 
there were doubtless many laws enacted which pressed 
hardly upon the natives. A little liberality on the score 
of sports and holidays prevented any ebullition of dis- 
content at these political disadvantages; and by the 
adoption of these wise precautions the Order sucoeeded 


in maintaining tranquillity amongst the population 
throughout their residence in the island. 

Any description of the social organisation, or of the 
mode of life carried on under the Order of St. John, 
would be incomplete without some allusion to an insti- 
tution established in their midst, and which has even in 
later days been the subject of much discussion and great 
differences of opinion amongst the statesmen of the 
various great European powers. Since the earliest ages 
it had been an invariable custom in Eastern warfare, 
that the prisoners taken in battle should be reduced into 
a state of slavery, and this system had been in full play 
long before the Crusades had introduced a Christian 
element into the warfare of Asia. A spirit of retaliation 
led to the establishment of a similar system on the 
part of the Christian inhabitants of Palestine, and the 
Turkish captives who fell into their hands invariably 
found themselves reduced to a state of most abject 
slavery. After their establishment in the island of 
Rhodes, the Knights continued the practice which an^ 
cient custom had legalised in their eyes, and both in 
that island and at Malta their galleys were invariably 
propelled by gangs of Turkish captives told off for that 
purpose, and driven to constant labour by the dread of 
punishment. A prison was established within the con- 
vent, where the slaves were placed when not employed 
on board ship, and whilst on shore they were constantly 
engaged either upon the fortifications or in the dockyards. 

There can be no doubt that great cruelty was often 
practised against these unfortunate captives, and the 
treatment which they received at the hands of their 
Christian masters was often disgracefully barbarous. 
Their lives were held as of little or no value, and the 


records teem with accounts of the thoughtless and bar- 
barous manner in which they were sacrificed to the 
whims and caprices of their masters. During the first 
siege of Rhodes, a gang of these unfortunates were re- 
turning from their perilous labours in repairing the 
breaches made by the enemy's artillery in the ramparts. 
A party of young Knights chanced to meet them, and 
commenced amusing themselves at their expense. A 
slight scuffle ensued, owing to an effort made by the 
latter to shield themselves from their tormentors, when 
a body of the garrison who were patrolling near the 
spot, imagining that the slaves were rising in revolt, fell 
on them, and, without pausing for a moment to ascertain 
the truth of .their suspicions, slew upwards of a hundred 
and fifty of these wretched and defenceless creatures 
before they discovered the error under which they had 
been labouring. So also we find it recorded, during 
the siege of Malta, that some hesitation having displayed 
itself on the part of the slaves in exposing themselves, 
during their pioneering labours, to a fire more than 
ordinarily deadly, the Grand-Master directed some to be 
hanged, and others to have their ears cut off; ^^pour 
encourager les autres" as the chroniclers quaintly and 
simply record. We find also an English Knight, named 
Massinberg, brought before the council in 1534, for 
having unwarrantably drawn his sword and killed four 
galley slaves, and upon being called for his defence, this 
turbulent Briton replied, " In killing the four slaves I 
did well, but in not having at the same time killed our 
old and imbecile Grand- Master, I confess I did badly.** 
This defence was not considered satisfactory, and Mas* 
sinberg was deprived of his habit for a period of two 
days^ and was likewise sentenced to the loss of his 


The Order not only retained their slaves for their 
own use ; they at the same time sold to private indivi- 
duals any number that might be demanded. The truth 
was, that the convent of St. John became eventually 
neither more nor less than a vast slave mart. When 
the demand was brisk, and the supply of slaves within 
the prison scarce, the cruisers of the Order scoured the 
seas ; and woe betide the unfortunate Turk who came 
within the range of their vision. The war which they 
unceasingly waged against the maritime power of the 
Infidel, was maintained not so much for the glory of the 
struggle, or from religious conviction of its necessity, 
but because they found that by thus gratifying their 
privateering propensities, they were swelling at one and 
the same time their own private fortunes and the public 
coffers. Honour there was none; religion there was 
none ; it was a purely mercenary speculation : and the 
only extenuation which the fraternity could offer for 
this degradation of the principles which had actuated 
their ancestors, was, that they were merely acting by 
way of reprisal. The northern coast of Africa was one 
vast nest of Infidel pirates, who scoured every corner of 
the Mediterranean, and whose detested flag was never 
seen without bringing with it all the horrors of blood- 
shed, rapine, and slavery. With a foe such as this, it 
was but natural that there should be but scant courtesy 
shown ; and had the Order invariably confined their 
efforts to the extermination of this noxious swarm, the 
historian of the age would not have been too severe in 
his criticisms on their subsequent behaviour to the fallen 
foe. It 18, however, much to be feared that, in their 
anxiety to keep the bagnio at Malta amply stocked, the 
Knights of St. John were by no means careful to dis- 



criminate between the piratical corsair of Algiers or 
Tunis, and the peaceful merchant or mariner of the 
East, who was pursuing his vocation without injury to 
any one. There exists in the Record Office of Malta, 
amongst a number of letters written by the monarchs of 
England at different times to the Grand-Masters, one 
from Charles II, to Nicholas Cottoner, which bears upon 
this question, and clearly proves the traffic in human 
flesh which subsisted; and from which the Grand- 
Master appears to have been a purveyor, not only to the 
king of England, but also to those of France and Spain. 

" Charles the Second, by the grace of God, of Great Bri- 
tain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, 
&c. To the most illustrious and most high prince, the 
Lord Nicholas Cottoner, Grand-Master of the Order of 
Malta, our well-beloved cousin and friend, greeting. 

" It having appeared to us a matter of interest not 
only to ourselves, but likewise to the whole Christian 
world, that we should keep in the Mediterranean Sea a 
certain number of galleys, ready to afford prompt aid to 
our neighbours and allies against the frequent insults of 
the barbarians and Turks ; we lately caused to be con- 
structed two galleys, one in Genoa and the other in the 
port of Leghorn. In order to man these, we directed a 
person well acquainted with such affairs to be sent, as 
to other parts, so also to the island of Malta, subject to 
the rule of your highness, in order to buy slaves and pro- 
cure other necessaries. He having purchased some slaves^ 
it has been reported to us that your highnesses collector 
of customs demanded five pieces of gold of Malta money 
before they could be permitted to embark, under the title 
of toll; at which proceeding we were certainly not a 
little astonished, it appearing to us a novel arrangement, 


and one contrary to the usual custom ; especially since 
it is well known to us that our neighbours and allies, 
the kings of France and Spain, are never accustomed to 
pay anything, under the title of toll, for the slaves which 
they cause yearly to be transported from your island. 
We therefore beg your highness, by the good and long 
friendship existing between us, to grant to us the same 
privilege in regard to this kind of commerce within the 
territories of your highness, as is enjoyed by both our 
said neighbours and allies ; which, although it ought to 
be conceded to us simply on account of our mutual 
friendship, and our affection towards your highness and 
the illustrious Order of Malta, still we shall receive so 
gratefully, that, if at any time we can do anything to 
please your highness, we shall be always ready to do it 
with all attention and most willingly. In the mean- 
time, we heartily recommend your highness and all the 
members of the illustrious Order of Malta, as well as all 
your affairs, to the divine keeping. 

" Given from our palace at Westminster on the 12th 
day of February, in the year of our Lord 1673, and of 
our reign the twenty -fifth. Your highness's good cousin 
and friend, Charles Rex.'' 

From the terms of this letter it appears that the 
deportation of slaves for the use of the kings of France 
and Spain was of annual occurrence, and that the " merry 
monarch" of England craved to be admitted to the same 
privilege. The results of this traffic must have been 
most profitable, not only from the proceeds of such as 
were sold, but also from the labour of those who were 
retained by the Order themselves. No person can now 
contemplate the frowning mass of batteries and ram- 
parts, or the yawning depths of the ditches which meet 

T 2 


the eye on all sides as the traveller enters the har- 
bour of Malta, without perceiving that such stupendous 
works could only have been erected in a spot where ma- 
terial was abundant, and labour a mere drug. And so 
in truth it was in this instance. The island of Malta 
is one vast quarry, and the engineers under whose 
guidance the ramparts of Valetta were traced found 
that they could raise from the ditches a sufficient body 
of stone to complete the construction of their walls. 
The numerous gangs of slaves who were awaiting the 
requirements of the wealthy potentates of Europe were 
in the meanwhile amply earning the slender cost of 
their maintenance in the slaves' prison at Malta, by 
toiling at those vast undertakings which have raised 
Valetta to the position of one of the most powerful for- 
tresses in Europe. The ramparts of that city have 
been reared amidst the anguish and toil of countless 
thousands, torn from their homes and their country, and 
condemned to drag out the remainder of their miserable 
existence as mere beasts of burden, labouring to rear 
those bulwarks which were to be employed against 
themselves and their country. No existence can be 
conceived more utterly cheerless or more hopelessly 
miserable than that of the Moslem captive, whose only 
change from their daily slavery on the public works was 
to be chained to the oar of a galley. Sometimes, how- 
ever, it did happen that the fortune of war favoured 
these miserable wretches, and that the enslaved crew of 
a galley found themselves suddenly liberated from their 
thraldom, and their haughty masters, who had so long 
made them toil for their behoof, condemned in just 
retribution to the same miseries and the same hopeless 






Before once again reverting to the political and general 
history of the Order during the remainder of its resi- 
dence in the island of Malta, it may not be uninteresting 
to enter into a few brief particulars more immediately 
concerning the language of England* 

From the moment of the first establishment of the 
Order of St. John by Peter Gerard, at Jerusalem, the 
English element became incorporated with the main 
body. The Lord Jordan Brissett, in 1101, founded a 
house for the benefit of the hospital at Clerkenwell, 
then at some distance from London, though it has since 
been swallowed up by the giant strides of the modern 
Babylon. This establishment became the nucleus of 
the English branch of the Order, and was speedily en- 
larged by many other most valuable and important 
donations. Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, when on 
a visit to England in 1185, consecrated the church of 

T 3 



this establishment and raised it to the dignity of a 

Henry I., king of England, was a considerable bene- 
factor to the young and thriving institution, and his 
example was followed by many of his subjects, whilst 
others hastened to enrol themselves as members of an 
Order which was fostered and supported not only by 
the pontiff, but by every potentate in Europe. When 
the community was made military, as well as hospitaller, 
under Raymond du Puy, the numbers of the chivalry 
of England who assumed the white-cross greatly ac- 
cumulated, and that nation formed a most important 
element in the general body. 

The first introduction of the fraternity into Scotland 
was due to the generosity and zeal of David I., king of 
that country, who, shortly after his succession in 1124, 
established a sacred preceptory of the Order of St. John 
at Torpichen, in Linlithgowshire, which continued to 
be the chief seat of the Knights Hospitaller in Scotland 
until the suppression of the Order in the sixteenth 
century. In the year 1153, just before his death, he 
confirmed by a royal charter the possessions, privi- 
leges, and exemptions with which the Order had become 
endowed in Scotland, and he looked with so great favour 
on this institution, as well as that of the Temple, that 
the author of the Book of Cupar records, that " Sanc- 
tus David de prseclara militia Templi Hierosolomitani 
optimos fratres secum retinens eos diebus et noctibus 
morum suorum fecit custodes." His successor, Malcolm 
IV., increased the privileges of the Hospitallers within 
his kingdom, and incorporated their possessions into a 
barony, freed from most of the imposts appertaining to 
the laity. William the Lion also followed in the foot- 


steps of the two previous monarchs, and made sundry 
additions to the munificent foundation which they had 

The Order was first introduced into Ireland through 
the munificence of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, 
who, almost immediately after the conquest of that 
country by the English, endowed them with a priory 
at Eilmainham, near Dublin, which, in after years, be- 
came the chief seat of the Order in Ireland. This dona- 
tion was made in 1174. 

The fraternity having thus introduced itself into all 
the three kingdoms of the British islands, continued to 
flourish and increase until it became, next to France, 
the principal support of the Order. In the commence- 
ment of the 14th century, the downfall of the Templars 
threw a vast additional amount of property into the 
hands of the Hospital, even after deducting that which 
they were never able to realise, owing to the inter- 
position of the rapacious interlopers who had suc- 
ceeded in obtaining possession, of many of the Temple 
lands after their suppression. About this period was first 
introduced the division of the Order into languages, 
decreed at a general chapter held at Montpelier during 
the Grand-Mastership of Elyon de Villanova.* In that 
council, the language of England was placed sixth in 
rank out of the seven divisions into which the Order 
was formed. The three French languages of Provence, 
Auvergne, and France ; the Italian, and the Spanish, or 
Aragon language ranking above it ; and the German 
language being placed below it. Shortly afterwards an 

* Bosio agserts that the chapter which decreed this division was 
held at Avignon in 1322. This difference of date and place is not 

T 4 


eighth division was made, called Castile and Portugal, 
which was also placed below the English. The digni- 
ties of Turcopolier, grand-prior of England, grand-prior 
of Ireland,^ and bailiff d'aquila, or of the eagle, were at 
the same time attached to the English language. 

This chapter was held in the year 1329, and at that 
time John Builbrux was the Turcopolier of the Order, 
which post he continued to hold under the new regime. 
Leonard de Tybertis, who had been prior of Venice, 
had just been elected grand-prior of England, in the 
place of Thomas Larcher, whose extravagance and 
financial incompetence had brought the English pro- 
perty into a state of the greatest confusion, and who 
had resigned his office in the early part of that year. 

The following is a list of the grand-priors of England 
from the date of the first establishment of a priory in 
Clerkenwell to the suppression of the English language. 
Many of the names comprised in this list will be alluded 
to more particularly when speaking of the English 
Knights generally. 

Grand-Priors of England. 

The account of the Grand-Priors previous to the com- 
mencement of the fourteenth century is very incomplete 
and unsatisfactory. Very probably the names of many 
of the Conventual Priors of St. John of Clerkenwell are 
mixed up with them. I give the list as they occur in 
the Cott. MSS., as far as the nanae of William de Totten- 
ham : from him to the conclusion of the roll the vouchers 
are to be found in the " Libri BuUarum," in the Record 
Office at Malta. 

1. Gamier de Neapolis Is the first recorded Grand-Prior of Eng- 
land. He could not have been the 
Garnier de Neapolis, afterwards Grand- 


Master, and who died of wounds received 
at the battle of Tiberius, a.d. 1187. An 
ancient MS. quoted by Paolo Antonio 
Paoli, in the possession of the Canon 
Smitmer, of Vienna, proves that he was 
living, and Prior of England, a.d. 1189. 
He was in all probability a brother. 

2. Richard de Turk . Was living in the time of the first Prioress 

of Buckland, who is said to have held 
that dignity for sixty years. Ob. 16th 

3. Balph de Dynham, Ob. 13th May. 

or Dinant. 

4. Gilbert de Yere . He bestowed on the Dames of Buckland a 

pension of a hundred crowns, charged 
upon his manor of Rainkam. Ob. 13th 

5. Hugh d'AIneto, or Ob. 13th November. 


6. Alan Afterwards Bishop of Bangor: was pro- 

bably only Conventual Prior of Clerk- 
en well. Ob. 19th May. 

7. Robert the Treasurer Ob. 26th October. 

8. Theodoric de Nussa, *^ There went from the Hospitallers' house 

or Nyssa. of Clerkenwell, in London, a great num- 

ber of Knights, with banner displayed, 
preceded by Brother Theodoric, their 
Prior, a German by nation, who set out 
for Palestine with a considerable body of 
troops in their pay. These Knights, 
passing over London -bridge, saluted with 
their capuce in hand all the inhabi- 
tants that crowded to see them pass, and 
recommended themselves to their pray- 
ers." — Matth. Paris, sub ann. 1237, p. 

9. Robert de Mauneby Prior. Ob. 14th October. 

10. Robert de Yere • . Was witness, as Conservator of the Hos- 
pital, in a charter dated Acre, 19th De- 
cember, 1262. He gave to the Church 


of Clerkenwell one of the six water-pots 
in which the water was changed into 
wine at the Marriage of Cana in Galilee, 
1269. As Prior he yisited the Convent 
of Buckland, to arrange some dispatefl^ 
and died 15th February, 1270. 

11. Peter de Hockham . Named in a bull of Pope Boniface YIIL 

A.D. 1295. Ob. 11th January. 

12. Simon Bocard • • Ob. 3rd May. 

13. Elias Singleton, or Ob. 27 th April 


14. Stephen Falburn . Ob. 1st January. 

15. Joseph de Chauncy . He built the chapel of the Lord Prior in 

the Conventual House of Clerkenwell ; 
temp. Edward L 

16. Walter Gained possession of the Preceptories of 

Quenyngton-Schenegaye, and other lands 
and tenements. Ob. 27th Maj. 

17. William de Henley . Built the cloisters of the house of Clerken- 

well, A.D. 128|, and ob. 4th Febroarj 
the same year. 

18. Richard de Penley . Was Prior before 1307. Ob. 3rd August. 

19. Robert de Dynham, Ob. 24th November. 

or Din ant. 

20. William de Totten- The name of this Grand-Prior is written 

ham. both Cochal and TothaU but his real 

name as here given is proved by a letter 
from the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
Walter Rainold, to William de TotteK- 
Aam, Grand*Prior of the Knights-Hos- 
pitallers of Jerusalem, dated Lambeth, 
17th July, 1314.— Tw/tf Rymer and Da 
Puy, Hist, des Templiers. 4to. 1761* 
p. 478.— He died 12th October, 1318. 

21. Thomas 1' Archer. . Was removed from the office of Prior at 

the request of the King Edward H., being 
incapacitated to fuldl the duties from 
age and infirmities, a.d. 1329. 

22. Leonard de Tibertis Named by some authorities de TheobdUUt 

being Prior of Venice. Was nominated 



by the Grand-Master De Villeneuve 
Visitor ofthe English Priory, and after- 
wards appointed Grand-Prior of Enghind 
at the special request of the King Ed- 
ward IL, AJ>. 1329-30. 

23. Philip de Tame • • Was Prior of England, a.d. 1335, 10th 

Edward III., and died before a.d. 1368. 
(John de Dalton) • Is said by Paoli to have been called Prior 

of England in a bull of the Grand- 
Master Berenger, but as his name does 
not appear as such in any of the Libri 
BuUarum, he was probably only Prior 
of the Conventual Church of Clerken- 

24. John de Paveley . • Lieutenant-Prior and Turcopolier, named 

Grand-Prior of England in a bull of the 
Grand-Master, Roger de Pins, dated 
Rhodes, 14th October, 1368. Ob. 1371. 

25. Robert de Hales • • Preceptor of Slebiche and Saundford ; Bailli 

of Aquila. Nominated Grand-Prior of 
England vice Paveley, a.d. 1371. Be- 
headed by Wat Tyler's mob, a.d. 1381. 

26. John de Redington • Preceptor of Ribestone ; Bailli of Aquila. 

Nominated Grand-Prior of England on 
the death of Robert de Hales, by bull 
of the Grand-Master, John de Heredia, 
dated Rhodes, 18th November, 1381. 
Ob. 1399. 

27. Walter de Grendon • Preceptor of Halstone. Named Prior of 

England by bull of the Grand-Master, 
Philibert de Naillac, dated Rhodes, 18th 
October, 1400. Ob. 1416. 

28. William Holies • • Preceptor of Swynefield, Templecombe, 

and Quenyngton. Nominated Grand- 
Prior of England by bull of the Grand- 
Master, Philibert de Naillac, dated 
Rhodes, 16th July, 1417. Ob. a.d. 1433. 

29. Robert Mallory • • Preceptor of Greneham, Balsal, and Graf- 

ton. Elected Grand-Prior of England 
by bull of the Grand-Master, Anthony 



30. Robert Boutil, or 

Fluvian, dated Rhodes, 4th Maj, 1433. 
Ob. A.D. 1440. 
Preceptor of Melchebourne^ Anstej, and 
Trebighe. Made Grand -Prior of Eng- 
land by bull of the Grand-Master, Jean 
de Lastic^ dated Rhodes^ 29th November, 
1440. Ob. A.D. 1468. 

31. John Langstrother • Preceptor of Balsal and Grafton ; Lieut- 

Turcopolier ; Receiver-General of Eng- 
land; Castellan of Rhodes; Bailli of 
Aquila; Seneschal of the Grand-Mas- 
ter; Commander of Cyprus. Nominated 
Grand-Prior of England by bull of the 
Grand-Master, Jean Baptiste Orsini, 
dated Rhodes, 6th April, 1470. Made 
prisoner, and beheaded after the battle 
of Tewkesbury, by order of Edward IV. 
A.D. 1471. Buried in the Church of St. 
John, at Clerkenwell. 

32. William Tornay . . Preceptor of Baddesley and Mayne ; Re- 

ceiver-General of England; Bailli of 
Aquila. Appointed Grand-Prior of Eng- 
land by bull of the Grand-Master, John 
Baptiste Orsini, dated Rhodes, 29th 
August, 1471. Ob. A.D. 1476. 

33. John Weston . • , Preceptor of Newland and Dynemore ; 

Lieut.-Turcopolier ; Turcopolier. Ap- 
pointed Grand-Prior of England by bull 
of the Grand-Master, Pierre d'Aubusson,. 
dated Rhodes, 24th July, 1476. Ob. 
A.D. 1489. 

34. John Kendal • • . Preceptor of Willoughton, Haktone, and 

Ribestone ; Turcopolier. Nominated 
Grand-Prior of England by bull of the 
Grand-Master, Pierre d'Aubusson, dated 
Rhodes, 20th June, 1 489. Ob. A. d. 1 501 . 

35. Thomas Docwra . • Preceptor of Dynemore ; Lieut-Turcopo- 

lier ; Prior of Ireland ; Turcopolier, 
Elected Grand-Prior of England by bull 
of the Grand-Master, Pierre d'Aubusson, 



36. William Weston 

37. Thomas Tresham 

38. Bichard Shellej 

39. Andrew Wyse 

40. Henry Fitz-James 

dated Rhodes, 6th August, 1501. Ob. 
A.D. 1527. 

Preceptor of Baddesley and Mayne ; Tur-» 
copolier. Named Grand-Prior of Eng- 
land by bull of the Grand-Master, Philip 
Yilliers de Lisle Adam, dated Corneto, 
27th June, 1527. Died of grief for the 
dissolution of the Language of England, 
A.D. 1540. Buried in the Church of St. 
John of ClerkenwelL 

Appointed Grand- Prior of England by a 
Royal Charter of Queen Mary, dated 
Greenwich, 2nd April, 1557. 

Turcopolier, 2nd April, 1557. Named 
Grand-Prior of England on the death of 
Thomas Tresham, a.d. 1566; supposed 
to have died at Venice, circ. 1589-90. 

Bailli of Aquila, 1588. Nominated Grand- 
Prior of England by papal brief, a.d. 
1593. Ob. A.D. 1631. 

Natural son of King James U. of England. 
Nominated Grand-Prior of England on 
visiting Malta, by bull of the Grand- 
Master, Gregorio Carafia, a.d. 1687 ; 
quitted the habit of the Order, and re« 
signed the Grand- Priory, A.D. 1701. 

Titular Grand-Priors of England. 

41. FranQois Astorg de 

42. Cesare Ferretti 

Nominated Grand-Prior of England by his 
uncle, the Grand-Master, Loubens de 
Yerdale, by bull dated Malta, 22nd April, 
1591, but obliged to resign the dignity 
on protest to the Pope of the Bailli of 
Aquila, Andrew Wyse ; created instead 
Bailli of Aquila, 8th June, 1593. 

Assisted at a Chapter- General, a.d. 1612, 
as Prior of England, Andrew Wyse still 






Giovanni Battista 

Alessandro Zam- 

Greronimo Alliata • 

Stefano Maria Lo- 

Gialio Bovio • • • 


Francesco Maria 

49. Nicolo Giraldin • 

50. Peter Fitz-James 

51. Bnonaventura Fitz- 


52. Giovanni Battista 

53. Girolamo Laparelli • 

Elected Grand-Prior of England bj papal 
brief, a.d. 1631. 

Nominated by papal brief, dated Rome, 
9th May, 1639, Grand-Prior of England. 

Elected Grand-Prior of England, by papal 
brief, dated Rome, 5th June, 1648. 

Named by papal brief Grand-Prior of Eng- 
land, dated Rome^ 19th June, 1654. 

C)ommander of San Giovanni di Tortona 
and Orvieto. Appointed Grand-Prior 
of England by brief of Pope Clement XI^ 
dated Rome, 11th July, 1701. Ob. A.D. 

Nominated Grand-Prior of England by 
brief of Pope Clement XI., dated Rome, 
11th December, 1706; registered in 
Council, 26th March, 1707. Resigned 
the Grand-Priory.. 

Appointed Grand-Prior of England by 
papal brief dated Rome, 9th August, 
1726 ; registered in Council, 18th Aogusl^ 

Nominated Grand-Prior of England by 
papal brief. No date given. 

Grand-Prior of England, named by papal 
brief; registered in Council, 13th May, 
A.D. 1 734 ; resigned the dignity and the 
habit, A.D. 1755. 

Appointed Grand-Prior of England by brief 
of Pope Benedict XIY., dated Rome, 
20th September, 1755; registered in 
Council, 23rd October, 1755. Resigned 
the dignity, being appointed Grand-Prior 
of Venice. 

Grand-Prior of England, living at Catania, 
A.D. 1806. 


Turcopoliers of the English Language. 

The Turcopolier was the title peculiar to the head of 
the venerable language of England : he was commander 
of the Turcopoles or Light Cavalry, and had also the 
care of the coast defences of the two islands of Rhodes 
and Malta. Upon the death of the Turcopolier Nicholas 
Upton, A.D. 1561, it was determined by the council that 
no more Turcopoliers should be elected till the religious 
troubles in England should be satisfactorily arranged ; 
which decree was confirmed by papal briefs, and the office 
of Turcopoliers at the same time incorporated with the 
dignity of Grand-Master, in the years 1583, 1584, and 

1. Peter de Sardines . Turcoplerius : was witness to a charter of 

the Abbot of St. Mary of the Latins, in 
Jerusalem, granting the casal of Mont- 
disder to the Knights-Hospitallers of 
St John of Jerusalem, a.d. 1248. 

2. John de Buisbrox, or Was nominated Turcopolier at a General 

Braibroc Chapter held at Montpelier, on the 24th 

October, 1329-30, under the Grand- 
Master Ellon de Yilleneuve, when the 
grand dignities were attached to the 
eight Languages, that of Turcopolier 
being confirmed to England. 
8. John de Paveley • Named Turcopolier in a bull, dated a.d. 

1335, Grand-Prior. 

4. William de Midleton Preceptor of Ribestone and Mount St. 

John: named Turcopolier in a bull of 
the Grand-Master, Raymond Berenger, 
dated Rhodes, 28th January, 136|. 

5. Richard de Overtone Preceptor of Mount St. John, Receiver of 

England ; named Turcopolier in a brief 
of Pope Gregory XL, dated Avignon, 
December, a.d. 1375. 





6. Brian de Grey . • Named Turcopolier in a bull of the Grand- 

Master, John de Heredio, dated Rhodes, 
22nd February, 1385-^, confirming to 
him the Bailliage of Aquila for life, and 
the Preceptory of Beverley in commen- 
dam. Ob. 1389. 

7. Hildebrand Inge • Preceptor of Buckland, and Receiver- 

General of England : nominated Turco- 
polier in a bull of the Grand-Master, 
John de Heredia, dated Rhodes, 20th 
October, 1392. 

8. Peter de Holte • . Prior of Ireland : appointed Turcopolier in 

a bull of the Grand-Master, Philibert de 
Naillac, confirming to him also the 
Priory of Ireland for ten years, dated 
Rhodes, 2nd August^ 1396. Ob. a-d. 

9. Thomas de Skip with Preceptor of Beverley and Schengaye : 

named Turcopolier in a bull of the 
Grand-Master, Philibert de Naillac, dated 
Rhodes, 10th September, 1417. He re- 
signs the Turcopoliership on being ap- 
pointed Commander of Cyprus, 1421. 
Ob. A.D. 1422. 

10. Thomas Launcelyn . Preceptor of Baddesley, Dolby, and Rothe- 

ley: appointed Turcopolier on resignation 
of Thomas de Skipwith, by bull of the 
Grand-Master, Anthony Fluvian, dated 
Rhodes, 3rd October, 1421. Ob. A.D. 

1 1. Hugh Midleton • . Preceptor of Willoughton and Beverley : 

Bailli of Aquila; made Turcopolier by 
bull of the Grand-Master, Jean de Lastic, 
dated Rhodes, 19th June, 1442. Ob. 
A.D. 1449. 

12. William Daunay . . Preceptor of Dynemore : elected Turco- 

polier on the death of Hugh Midleton, 
by bull of the Grand-Master, Jean de 
Lastic, dated Rhodes, 18th June^ 1449. 
Ob. 1468. 



13. Robert Tong . . 

14. John Weston • . 

15. John Kendal • . 

16. John Bos vile • . 

17. Thomas Docwra . 

18. Thomas Newport 

19. Robert Daniel 

20. William Darell . 


Preceptor of Mount St. John : named Tur- 
copolier bj bull of the Grand-Master, 
John Baptist Orsini, dated Rhodes, aj>. 
1468 ; resigned the Turcopoliership on 
being nominated Bailli of Aquila, a.d. 

Preceptor of Newland and Dynemore: 
appointed Turcopolier, on mutition of 
Robert Tong, by bull of the Grand- 
Master, John Baptist Orsini, dated 
Rhodes, 16th October, a.d. 1471 : after- 
wards Grand-Prior of England. 

Preceptor of Willoughton : elected Turco- 
polier by bull of the Grand-Master, Pierre 
d*Aubusson, dated Rhodes, 14th March, 
147^ on the elevation of John Weston 
to be Grand-Prior ; and whom he also 
succeeded in that dignity, 1489. 

Preceptor of Temple-Bruer and Quenyng- 
ton : nominated Turcopolier by bull of 
the Grand-Master, Pierre d'Aubusson, 
Rhodes, 20th June, a.d. 1489. Ob. 
A.D. 1494. 

Preceptor of Dynemore, Prior of Ireland : 
named Turcopolier in a brief dated 
Rhodes, 14th October, 1495; succeeded 
to the Grand-Priory of England, a.d. 

Preceptor of Newland and Temple-Bruer ; 
Receiver of the Common Treasury: 
made Turcopolier, vice Docwra ; nomi- 
nated Grand-Prior, a.d. 1501 ; Bailli of 
Aquila by mutition, 1502. 

Preceptor of Swinefield: nominated Tur- 
copolier, by brief of the Grand-Master, 
Cardinal Pierre d'Aubusson ; Rhodes, 
30th March, 150|. 

Preceptor of Willoughton ; Lieutenant- 
Turcopolier: named Turcopolier in a 
bull of Emeri d'Amboise, Grand-Master, 




21. John Bouth, Boach, 
or Buck 

22. William Weston . . 

23. John Rawson . . . 

24. John Babington . . 

25. Clement West (de- 

26. Roger Bojdel . . . 

27* John Rawson^ Junior 

dated Rhode^ 6th February, 150^. 
Ob. A.D. 1519. 

Preceptor of Quenyngton, Anstey, and 
Trebigh; Receiver-General: named Tur- 
copolier in succession to William Darell, 
A.D. 1519. Was slain, at the third and 
most desperate assault on the bulwark of 
England, at the siege of Rhodes, a.d. 

Preceptor of Baddesley and Mayne, &c. : 
elected Turcopolier in the Chapter held 
in Candia after the expulsion of the 
Order from Rhodes, 1523. Commanded 
the grand carracque of the Order; made 
Grand-Prior, a.d. 1527. 

Preceptor of Swinefield ; Prior of Ireland : 
nominated Turcopolier by bull of Philip 
Villiers L'Isle Adam, Grand-Master, 
dated Corneto, 27th June, 1527. Was 
reappointed Prior of Ireland, resigning 
the dignity of Turcopolier. 

Preceptor of Dalby and Rotheley; Prior 
of Ireland ; Receiver-General : elected 
Turcopolier by bull of the Grand-Master, 
L'Isle Adam, dated, "From our Priory 
House of the Hospital in England," 4th 
June, 1528 ; Bailli of Aquila by mutition, 

Preceptor of Slebeche ; Receiver of the 
Common Treasury: named Turcopolier 
by bull of L'Isle Adam, Grand-Master, 
dated Malta, 7th January, 153f. De- 
prived of the habit and dignity for in- 
subordinate conduct, A.D. 1533. 

Preceptor of Halstone, Baddesley, and 
Mayne : appointed Turcopolier, vice 
Clement West, deprived February, a.d. 
1533. Ob. March, 1533. 

Preceptor of Quenyngton ; Receiver of the 
Treasury: nominated Turcopolier by 



Clement West (re- 

28. Gyles Russel . . 

(Oswald Massing- 
berd, Lieutenant- 
29. Nicholas Upton . . 

(Oswald Massing- 
berd, again) 

80. Richard Shelley . . 

bull of the Grand-Mastery L'Isle Adam, 
dated Malta, 19th April, 1633. Resigned 
that dignity, and elected instead Bailli 
of Aquila, 1534-5. 

Was restored to the habit and the dignity 
of Turcopolier, 15th February, 153|; 
and again deprived and imprisoned, a.d. 
1539. Ob. A.D. 1547. 

Preceptor of Baddesfort and Dingley; 
Lieutenant-Turcdpolier ; Captain of II 
Borgho: nominated Turcopolier, vice 
West, deprived A.D. 1539. Ob. a.d. 1543. 

Lieutenant-Turcopolier, so named, vice 
Russel, dead : nominated Prior of Ireland 
under certain conditions, a.d. 1547. 

Preceptor of Ribestone: elected Turcopolier 
by bull of the Grand-Master, John 
d'Omedes, dated Malta, 5th November, 
1548. Died of a coup-de-soleil, received 
whilst repelling a landing of the Turks 
on the Island of Malta, a.d. 1551. 

Lieutenant - Turcopolier : so nominated 
again on the death of the Turcopolier 
Upton. Confirmed Prior of Ireland, 
A.D. 1555. 

Preceptor of Slebeche and Halstone : 
nominated Turcopolier by charter of 
Mary^ Queen of England, dated Green- 
wich, 2nd April, 1557 ; afterwards Grand- 
Prior, 1566. 

Titular Turcopoliers. 

Don Pedro Gonsalez de Son of the viceroy of Naples : named 
Mendoza Turcopolier by papal brief, a.d. 1576; 

resigns the dignity, 1578: nominated 
Prior of Ireland, a.d. 1582. 
Francois de TEspinay-St. Appointed Turcopolier by brief of Pope 
Luc Pius y. while yet in his noviciate. On 

protest from the whole Order, the ob- 

u 2 


Johann Baptist von 


noxious ^ppointmSfHlf^'^t'* fu mM, LD. 
Bailli of the Anglo-Bavail]^|jr, i Janguge : 
elected Turcopolier, regi8terel||& ia eoaiuni, 
7th November, 1782, Emmali^iel de 
Rohan, Grand-Master ; Bailli of JS^roila 
by mutition, 179^. 

The Bailliage of Ecle, Eycle, Egle, Eagle, or Aquila, 
a preceptory situated about seven miles from the city of 
Lincoln, was granted to the Knights-Templars by King 
Stephen, about 1139. At the suppression of that Order 
it passed into possession of the Knights-Hospitallers of 
St. John of Jerusalem. 

Baillis of Aquila^ or of the Eagle. 

1. Robert Cort . . . The first-named Preceptor of the Eycle in 

the report of the possessions of the 
Knights - Hospitallers, made by the 
Grand-Prior of England, Philip de 
Thame, to the Grand-Master Elion de 
Villeneuve. a.d. 1338. 

2. John de Anlaby . . Called Preceptor of Eycle, in a grant to 

him of certain Commanderies by the 
Grand-Master Dieudonn^ de Grozon. 
Bull dated Rhodes, 1st August, 1351. 

3. Robert de Hales . . Preceptor of Beverley and the Ecle ; so 

called in a bull of the Grand-Master, 
Roger de Pins, dated Rhodes, Ist June, 
1358; afterwards Grand-Prior of Eng- 

4. John de Dingley . . Preceptor of Dalby and the Ycle : named 

in a bull of Raymond Berenger, Grand- 
Master, dated Rhodes, 20th February, 

5. John de Maneby . . Preceptor of the Eagle : named in a grant 

of the Grand-Master, d'Heredia, dated 




i« • 

•» ■«"• 

V'l. Pedro FeUces de la Comixes, 18tli NoveSfeNiJ381, as having 


6. John de Redington 

7. Brian de Grey 

8. Henry Crownal 

9. William Poole 

died that year. 

Received the Bailliage of the Eagle, to 
hold as a '* fifth Commandery," being at 
this time Grand- Prior of England, by 
grant of the same Grand-Master. Bull 
dated Rhodes, 18th November, 1381. 

Preceptor of Beverley; Turcopolier: re- 
ceives for life a grant of the Bailliage of 
Aquila, resigned by the Grand-Prior, 
Redington. Bull dated February, 138f. 
Heredia, Grand-Master. To hold with 
the office of Turcopolier. 

Preceptor of Willoughton : succeeded to 

. the Bailliage of Aquila on the death of 
Brian de Grey, September, 1389. Ob. 
A.D. 1433. 

Preceptor of Dynemore and Garrewayes : 
nominated Bailli of Aquila, by bull of 
the Grand-Master, Anthony Fluvian, 
dated Rhodes, 19th July, 1433 ; resigned 
the dignity 1438, and died the same year. 

Preceptor of Beverley : made Bailli of 
Aquila, by bull of the Grand-Master^ 
de Lastic, dated Rhodes, 23rd January, 
143f ; Turcopolier by mutition, 1442. 
Ob. 1449. 
11. WilliamLangstrother Preceptor of Quenyngton : appointed Bailli 

of Aquila, by bull dated Rhodes, 1 9th 
June, 1442, John de Lastic, Grand- 
Master. Ob. A.D. 1463. 

Preceptor of Beverley, Balsal, Ribestone, 
&c. ; Lieut.-Turcopolier, &c, : created 
Bailli of Aquila, by bull of the Grand- 
Master, de Lastic, dated Rhodes, 28th 
February, 146J; promoted to the 
Grand-Priory of England, a.d. 1470; 
beheaded 1471. 

Preceptor of Dalby and Rotheley; Re- 
ceiver-Greneral : nominated BaiUi of 
u 3 

10. Hugh Midleton 

12. John Langstrother 

13. William Tornay 


14. Robert Tong 

16. Thomas Green 

16. Thomas Newport 

17. Thomas Sheffield 

18. Alban Pole 

19. John Babington 

20. John Rawson, jun. 

A wf??. W'ltWr OF 

N app 
Aquilaju^ W ^^^ Bhodes, 5th April, 
1470, John^1rtp!;i'!t?«t Onin}^ QmaStSL-' 
Master; Grand-Frior of England, 1471. 
Ob. 1476- 

. Preceptor of Mount St John ; Turcopo- 
lier: mntitioned Bailli of Aquila, bj 
bull of the Grand-Master, Orsini, dated 
Rhodes, 29th August, 1471. Ob.A.D. 1481. 
Preceptor of Schenegaje : nomiuated Bailli 
of Aquila, bj bull of the Grand-Master 
Pierre d'Aubusson, dated Rhodes, 11th 
Julj, 1481. Ob. A.D. 1502. 

, Preceptor of Newland, &c. ; Receiver- 
General of England ; Turcopolier : 
transferred to the Bailliage of Aquila, 
by mutition, bull dated Rhodes, 10th 
March, 150|, d*Aubusson, Grand- 
Master. Drowned on the Coast of Spain 
hastening to the relief of Rhodes, be- 
sieged bj the Turks, a.d. 1522. 
Preceptor of Beverley ; Receiver-General 
of England; Seneschal of the Grand- 
Master : named Bailli of Aquila, by bull 
of the Grand- Master, L'Isle Adam, 
dated Messina, 4th May, 1523. Ob. at 
Viterbo, a.d. 1524. 
Preceptor of Newland, Ossington, and 
Winkleboum : appointed Bailli of Aquila, 
by bull of the Grand-Master, L'Isle 
Adam, dated Viterbo, 26th August, 
1524. Ob. A.D. 1530. 

, Preceptor of Dalby, &c. ; Prior of Ire- 
land; Receiver-General of England; 
Turcopolier : made Bailli of Aquila, by 
mutition, bull dated Malta, 7th January, 
153f Ob. A.D. 153|. 

> Preceptor of Quenyngton; Receiver- 
General ; Turcopolier ; Bailli of Aquila, 
bull dated Malta, 15th February, 153f , 
Pierre de Ponte, Grand-Master. 




21. Pedro Felices de la Commander of the Language of Aragon : 


22. Oliver Starkey 

23. Ajidrew Wyse 

created Bailli of Aquila, by charter of 
Mary, Queen of England, dated Green- 
wich, 2nd April, 1557. Was slain at the 
siege of Malta, a.d. 1666. 

Commander of Quenyngton ; Lieutenant- 
Turcopolier : Bailli of Aquila, by bull of 
the Grand-Master, Pierre de Monte, 
Malta, 3xd October, 1669. Ob. 1688, 
buried in the vault of the Grand -Mas- 
ters in the Conventual Church of Saint 
John, the only Knight of the Order so 

Nominated Bailli of Aquila on death of 
Oliver Starkey, being the only English 
Knight in the Convent, Malta, 27th 
April,* 1688; Loubens de Verdale, 
Grand-Master; was afterwards Grand- 
Prior of England, 1593. Ob. a.d. 1631. 

Titular Baillis of Aquila. 

24. FraoQois d'Astorg de 

26. Luis Mendez de Yas- 

26. Michel de Pontailler- 


27. Jean de Bernois- 


28. Ottavio Bandinelli . 

29. Jacques de Sparvier- 


Appointed Bailli of Aquila, by bull of t^e 

Grand-Master, Verdale, dated Malta, 8th 

June> 1693. Ob. a.d. 1612. 
A Portuguese Commander of the Language 

of Castile s named Bailli of Aquila, by 

bull of the Grand-Master, Alof de Vig- 

nacourt, Malta, 29th August, 1612 ; 

afterwards Grand^Master. 
Nominated Bailli of Aquila, by brief, dated 

Malta, 20th February, 1622. Ob. a.d. 

Appointed Bailli of Aquila, on the death 

of Thallemey, 13th June, 1630. Ob. 

A.D. 1656. 
Named Bailli of Aquila, by papal brief, 

Rome, 22nd April, 1656. 
Nominated Bailli of Aquila, by brief, 14th 

May, 1671, Grand-Commander, 1672. 
u 4 


30. Don Diego Braga- Made Bailli of Aquila^ by brief of Pope 

monte Clement X., 22nd May, 1673. Ob. a.d. 


31. Don Emmanuel de Created Bailli of Aquila, by papal brief of 

Tordesiilas Alexander VIU., 20th September, 1690 

Ob. A.D. 1702. 

32. Richard de Sade- Commander of Puysmaison : named Bailii 

Mazan of Aquila, by brief of the Pope, Clement 

XI., 18th August, 1702 ; registered in 
Council 11th September, 1702; Grand- 
Commander, 1714. 
83. Antonio Domenico Commander : appointed Bailli of Aquila, 

Bussi by brief of Pope Clement XL, dated 

Rome, 23rd June, 1714 ; regbtered in 
Council 28th July, 1715. 

34. Francesco de Guedez- A Commander of Portugal ; Vice-Chan - 

Pereira cellop: nominated Bailli of Aquila by 

papal brief, dated Rome, 22nd March, 

35. Henri Francois de Elected Bailli of Aquila, by papal brief of 

GuiranlaBrillane Pius YI., Rome, 18th May, 1781; re- 
gistered in Council, 12th July, 1781. 

36. Norbert von Torring Commander of Erding, of the Anglo-Bava- 

rian Language : named Bailli of Aquila, 
by brief of Pope Pius VI. ; registered in 
Council 10th September, 1790; after- 
wards Lieutenant-Turcopolier, 1792. 

37. Johann Baptiste von Turcopolier (Titular) of the Language 

Flachslanden Anglo- Bavarian : nominated Bailli of 

Aquila, by brief of Pius VL Pope ; re- 
gistered in Council 26th February, 179f. 

Priors of Ireland. 

No mention occurs of a Prior of Ireland before the 
chapter-general of the Order held at Montpellier, A.D. 
1329-30, Elion de Villeneuve, Grand-Master. 

1. Roger Weillam . . Was present as ''Prior Hiberniaprioratiis" 

at the General Chapter held at Mont- 


pellier, Elion de Villeneuve, Grand- 
Master, presiding, A.D. 1329-30. 

2. John I'Archer . . Preceptor of Dalby and Majne ; Prior of 

Ireland : named in a bull of the Grand- 
Master Dieudonn^ de Gozon, dated 
Rhodes, 28th October, 1351. 

3. Thomas de Burle . Preceptor of Dynemore and Barrowe : 

named Prior of Ireland in a bull dated 
Rhodes, 15tli February, 1365 ; Raymond 
Berenger, Grand-Master. 

4. William de Tabney . Named Prior of Ireland in a bull of the 

Grand-Master d'Heredia, dated Rhodes, 
24th March, 138^. Was present as 
Prior of Ireland at a General Council, 
2nd August, 1382. 

5. Peter de Holte . • Was Prior of Ireland previous to 1396. 

On being nominated Turcopolier, by 
bull of the Grand-Master Philibert de 
Naillac, dated Rhodes, the 2nd of August 
of that year, he was therein confirmed 
Prior of Ireland for ten years longer. 
Resigned the Priory of Ireland 1410; 
and died a.d. 1415. 

6. Thomas le Bouteler . Named Prior of Ireland in a bull of the 

Lieutenancy of the Grand-Master de 
Naillac, Rhodes, 12th May, 1410. Ob. 
A.D. 1420. 

7. Richard Paule . • Preceptor of Templebruer : nominated 

Prior of Ireland by bull of the Grand- 
Master de Naillac, dated Rhodes, 31st 
October, 1420. Resigned the Priory of 
Ireland, 1422. 

8. William Fitz-Thomas Appointed Prior of Ireland by a bull of the 

Grand-Master Fluvian, dated Rhodes, 
24th June, 1422. 
(Maurice Fltz- William) The Priory of Ireland was seized upon and 

wrongfully usurped, without any nomi- 
nation of the Grand-Master and Council, 
on the death of William Fitz-Thomas, 
the Prior, by Maurice Fitz- William. He 




being shortly after deprived bj the 
unanimous act of the Irish Knights, the 
nomination of a successor was left in the 
hands of the Grand-Master and Council, 
▲.D. 1440. 
9. Edmond Asheton • Preceptor of Anstey and Trebigh : was 

nominated to the vacant Priory of Ireland 
by the Grand-Master Jean de Lastic; 
bull dated Rhodes, 12th July, 1440. 
Ob. A.D. 1442. 

10. Hugh Midleton . . Preceptor of WiUoughton and Beverley ; 

Bailli of Aquila; Turcopolier: nomi- 
nated Visitor of the Priory of Ireland 
by bull dated Rhodes, 20th November, 
1442. Afterwards confirmed Prior, as 
appears by a bull of the Grand-Master 
de Lastic^ dated Rhodes, 12th Sep- 
tember, 1450. 
( Thomas Talbot) • Was nominated Administrator of the 

Priory of Ireland 1446-9. Owing to his 
mal -ad ministration, and letters written 
from the King Henry VI., from the 
Council of the Irish Commanders, and 
from the Chapter of the Priory of 
Dublin, he was removed from his office. 

11. Thomas Fitz-Grerald Confirmed Prior of Ireland, at the request 

of the Irish Commanders, by bull of 
the Grand^Master de Lastic, dated 
Rhodes, 10th September, 1460. Ob. 
A.D. 1453. 

12. Thomas Talbot • • Appointed Prior of Ireland, notwith- 

standing his former deprivation, on the 
death of Fitz-Gerald, by bull, dated 
Rhodes, 1st February, 145|; De Lastic, 
Grand-Master. Was again deprived for 
mal-administration, 1469. 

13. James Keating • • Commander of Clontarf and Kilmain- 

hambeg: nominated Prior of Ireland, 
vice Talbot, deprived, 21st October, 
1459; and confirmed by bull of the 



1& Robert Eure 

Graud-Master Raymond Zacosta, dated 
Rhodes, 9th July, 1461. Was deprived 
of the Priory, for mal-administration and 
disobedience, by bull of the Grand - 
Master d*Aubusson, dated Rhodes, 18th 
December, 1482. 

14. Marmaduke Lumley . Preceptor of Templecombe: nominated 

Prior of Ireland, vice Keating, deprived, 
by bull, dated Rhodes, 28th December, 
1482 ; Peter d'Aubusson, Grand-Master. 
Ob. A.D. 1494. 

15. Thomas Docwra . . Preceptor of Dynemore, &c. : appointed 

Prior of Ireland by bull of the Grand- 
Master d'Aubusson, dated Rhodes, 24th 
October, 1494. Resigned the Priory 
1495, having been mutitioned Turco- 
. . Preceptor of Slebeche : made Prior of 
Ireland a.d. 1496. Deprived of the 
Priory (suspended), for misgovernment 
and debts, by bull of the Grand-Master 
Emeri d'Amboise, Rhodes, 8th May, 
1511. Ob. at Rhodes, 1513. 

17. John Rawson • . . Appointed Lieutenant-Prior, and Adminis- 

trator of the Priory of Ireland, by bull 
of the Grand-Master, dated 8th June, 
1511. Confirmed Prior by another bull 
of the same, Rhodes, 15th March, 151|. 
Resigned the Priory of Ireland on being 
mutitioned Turcopolier, 27th June, 1527. 

18. John Babington • • Preceptor of Dalby and Rotheley, &c. : 

nominated Prior of Ireland by bull of 
the Grand-Master L'Isle Adam, dated 
Corneto, 27th June, 1527. Resigned 
the Priory on being named Turcopolier, 
exchanging dignities with John Rawson, 
re -appointed Prior of Ireland, 1528. 

19. John Rawson (again) Resumed the Priory of Ireland by request 

of the King, Henry VIII. CJonfirmed 
by bull of the same Grand- Master, dated 


from " Our Priory House of the Hospital 
in England," 4th June, 1528 ; and re- 
confirmed by an additional bull of the 
same, dated " Dover near the Sea, in 
England^ in domo qua in itineris Hos- 
pitali sumus," 5th June, 1528. Ob. 
A.D. 1547. 

20. Oswald Massingberd Lieutenant-Turcopolier : appointed Prior 

of Ireland on the death of Rawson, by 
bull of the Grand-Master John d'Omedes, 
Malta, 27th August, 1547; on condition 
that he, Massingberd, should not assume 
the title, or the Grand-Cross, till legally 
in possession of his Priory. The Priory 
being confirmed to him by Queen Mary, 
he was allowed the dignity, by bull of 
the Grand-Master Claude de la Sangle, 
dated Malta, 2nd August, 1554. He 
afterwards resigned the Priory into the 
hands of Commissioners appointed by 
Elizabeth, 3rd June^ 1558. 

Titular Priors of Ireland. 

21. Maturin de I'Escut Named Prior of Ireland a.d. 1573. Ob. at 

Romegas. Rome, 1582. 

22. Don Pedro Gronsalez Confirmed Prior of Ireland by bull of the 

de Mendoza. Grand -Master Loubens de Yerdale, 

Malta, 27th July, 1582. Resigned the 
Priory of Ireland on being mutitioned 
' to the Bailliage of Negropont, 1607. 

23. Don Diego Brochero Nominated Prior of Ireland by papal brief, 

A.D. 1609. Appointed Grand-Chancellor 
A.D. 1613. 

24. Don Michaele Cal- Appointed Prior of Ireland, 1613. Ob. 

deron. A.D. 1621. 

25. Don Prosper Colonna Nominated Prior of Ireland, a.d. 1621. 

Ob. A.D. 1655. 

26. Angelo della Ciaja . Created Prior of Ireland by papal brief, 

dated Rome, 25th February, 1666. 


27. Pietro Ottoboni, Car- Made Prior of Ireland by brief of the 

dinal Pope Alexander VIIL, a.d. 1690. 

28. Antonio Maria Buon- Created Prior of Ireland by brief registered 

compagni Ludovisi in the Council, 24th Noyember, 1741. 

29. Francesco Carvalho Commander of Portugal : nominated Prior 

Pinto of Ireland by brief of Pope Pius VI. ; 

registered in Council, 20th June, 1792. 

Priors of Scotland. 

There arc very few records to be found regarding 
the Priors of Scotland, or Preceptors of Torphichen, as 
they are usually styled ; none are to be met with in the 
archives preserved in Malta before the year 1386. The 
names of the first four preceptors are borrowed from 
various authorities. 

1. Archibald . . . • Named '* Magister de Torphichen " in a 

charter of Alexander, Great Steward of 
Scotland, dated 1252. 

2. Alexander de Welles Swore fealty to king £dward I. of England, 

as *' Prior Hospitalis Sancti Joannis Je- 
rusalomitani in Scotia/' a.d. 1291. His 
name also occurs in the Ragman Roll, as 
'* Gardeyn del' Hospital de Seint Jehan 
de Jerusalem en Ecoce." He was slain 
at the battle of Falkirk, 22nd of July, 

3. Ranulph de Lyndsay Is said to have succeeded the Prior Welles, 

and to have ruled the Order in Scotland 
till after the year 1315. 

4. William de la More . Supposed, from charters, to have lived in 

the reign of David 11. 

5. Edward de Brenne . Named Prior of Scotland and Receiver- 

General, in a bull of the Grand-Master 
Heredia, dated Rhodes, 5 th of June, 1386, 
granting a lease of the lands of Tor- 
phichen, vacant by death of David de 
Marr, to a certain Richard de Cornel. 



6L J^^3 de Brnojnge 

7. Uearj LiTingftoo 

(William HoUef) 
(Robert ^lallory; 

8. William Meldnim 

(Patrick Skougall) 

9. William Knolles . . 

A bon of the Graed-liasaer PixUbet ds 
XaiLair, dated Rlt'jde&, S4th JbIj. 1410. 
gnats the Bailliage of Scc<Ii2d for fire 
jean to John de BrniiTnge. He tr-ing 
boand to paj certain respoosoBS §pecx- 

Xamed Prior of Scotland, ard Precepcc-r of 
Torphichen, in a bull of the Gran*!- 
Haster de Las ic, rtrgarding the pajment 
of arrears of responsions, dated Rhodes^ 
5th September, 1449. Ob. a.d. 146S. 

A ball of the Grand-Master FloTian, dated 
Rhodes, 8th 3Iar, 1433, complains of the 
non-pajment of responsion.% mortoarj 
dues, and other imposts, bj the Prior of 
Scotland, and appoints Robert MaUorv, 
Grand-Prior of England, Administrator 
of the Priorj of Scotland, to hold that 
office as his predecessor, William Holies, 
Grand-Prior of England, had held it 
before him. 

Is named administrator of the Priorj of 
Scotland in a ball of the Grand-Master 
de Lastic, dated Rhodes, 9th Janaarj, 
145}, by which he is summoned to 
Rhodes to account for his mal-adminis- 
tration. In another bull of the same, 
dated 24th November, 1454, he is called 
Preceptor of Torphichen. 

Administrator of the Priorj. On the 
nomination of William Knolles, he pe- 
titions the Grand-Master and Council 
for the dignity of Prior, asserting that 
Knolles had been unjustly appointed in 
his place. The council decide against 
him, but grant him an indemnity, bj 
bull, dated Rhodes, 3rd September, a.d. 
1473. John Baptist Orsini, Grand- 

Nominated Prior of Scotland, vice Livings- 



(Patrick Enolles) 

(Robert Stuart 

10. George Dundas . 

11. Walter Lyndsay . 

12. James Sandilands 

13. James Irvine . . 

14. David Seton . . 

ton, dead, by bull of the Grand- 
Master Orsini, dated Rhodes, 22nd De- 
cember, 1466. Resigned the Priory A.D. 
1504; and died before the 24th June, 
A.D. 1510. 

• Named coadjutor of his uncle, William 
Enolles (in a bull cited below), who was 
incapacitated by age and infirmities from 
governing the Priory. Ob. ante 1500. 
Nephew of the Lord Bernard d'Aubigny : 
appointed coadjutor of the Prior Wil- 
liam Enolles, in place of Patrick Enolles, 
dead, by bull of the Grand-Master d' Au- 
busson, dated Rhodes, 17th March, 150^. 

. Appointed Prior of Scotland, on the resig- 
nation of William Enolles, by bull of 
the Grand-Master d'Amboise, dated 
Rhodes, 1st July, 1504. Ob. a.d. 1532. 

. Received into the Order by theTurcopolier, 
William Weston, 31st December, 1525. 
Nominated Prior of Scotland by bull of 
the Grand-Master L'Isle Adam, dated 
Malta, 6th March, 153§. 

. Named Prior of Scotland in a bull of the 
Grand-Master d'Omedes, dated Malta^ 
2nd April, 1547. Having adopted the 
Protestant faith, he surrendered the pos^ 
sessions of the Priory to the government, 
and receiving a grant of them to himself, 
with the title of Lord Torphichen, 
founded the existing family bearing that 

. Is said to have succeeded Sandilands in the 
nominal dignity of Prior of Scotland; 
an old poem of the times also mentions a 
David Seton as the last who bore that 
title^ towards the end of the sixteenth 

. Is said to have been the last Prior of Scot- 
land, and to have retired to Germany 


with the greater portion of his Scottish 
brethren, about 1572-73. In an old 
poem of that period he is mentioned as 
the head of the Scottish Hospitallers. 
The poem is entitled " The Holy Kirke 
and his Theeves.'* After apostrophising 
Sir James Sandilands for his treachery 
to the Order, it proceeds thus : — 

** Fye upon the traitor then, 
Qaha has broucht us to sic pan, 
Greedie als the knave Judas ! 
Fye upon the churle quwhat solde 
Halie Erthe for heavie golde ; 
But the Order felt na losse, 
Quhan David Setonne bare the Crosse.** &c. 

David Seton is said to have died about 
1591 ; and to have been buried in the 
Church of the Scotch Benedictines at 
Ratisbonne. He was of the noble house 
of Wintoun. 

Tt appears from the correspondence of Mary Queen of 
Scots, recently published by Prince Alexander Labanoff, 
that a project was formed in 1580, for wresting Ireland 
from the domination of England, and transferring it to 
the Order of St. John ; but the Grand-Master declined 
the alluring bait, being well assured of the impossibility 
of maintaining any secure hold on the country, even 
should the conspiracy have succeeded so far as to obtain 
possession of it in the first instance. 

All the historians of the Order of St. John who have 
treated upon the subject of the relative ranks of the 
different dignities in the chapters-general and other as- 
semblies, have made an error in the position which they 
allot to the grand-prior of England. They have, one 


and all, placed him twenty-fifth upon the list,* whereas 
a document is in existence in the record office of Malta, 
which proves that in 1566 it was decided his place 
should be above both the prior of Messina and the 
castellan of Emposta, which would fix him in the 
twenty-second place.f As this document, which was 
written by Oliver Starkey, secretary to La Valette, who 
was present during the debate, gives an interesting 
insight into the method adopted during the sixteenth 
century for deciding delicate points of etiquette, it may 
be as well to annex a translation of it. It ran as 
follows : — 

" On occasion of the dispute and controversy which 
arose between the most illustrious and very reverend 
the priors of England and Messina concerning their 
pre-eminence, namely, which of the two should take pre- 
cedence of the other at the meetings of council, at pub- 
lie assemblies, and other solemn congregations of this 
Order, the very reverend and most illustrious the 
Grand- Master, with his venerable council, appointed a 
commission, consisting of the very reverend Fr. Antonio 
Cressini, prior of the church, Fr. Pietro Mar^chal, and 
Don Fernando del Arcon, lieutenant to the High Chan- 
cellor, in order that they, having inquired into the pre- 
tensions and allegations of both parties, and having 
consulted and examined the documents which they 
should respectively produce from the registry, might 

* This would correspond with No. 26 in the list enumerated in the 
preceding chapter of this work ; the difference being caused bj the 
insertion in that list of the Turcopolier as No. 8, whereas this dig- 
nitary is omitted in all former lists, owing to the suppression of the 

t Or 23rd in the preceding list 

303 A mSTOBY OF 

make a just and unbiassed report to the council, who, 
having executed the orders which were given to thera, 
reported to the said very reverend Grand-Master and 
his council that, having heard all which the priors and 
their procurators had alleged in defence, and in favour 
of their own cause, and having carefully considered the 
statements contained in the documents from the registry 
produced by them, they discovered that the priors of 
England, both in the general chapters and in the ordi- 
nary assemblies of this Order, had been accustomed to 
take precedence, not only of the said priors of Messina, 
but also of the castellani d'Emposta, who precede the 
said priors of Messina, and who take precedence of 
several other members of the Order. Whence it came 
to pass that the very reverend the Grand-Master and his 
venerable council, having heard in profound silence the 
report of the said commissioners, and having discussed 
the contents of the documents produced, as to whether 
they were or were not explicit upon the point in ques- 
tion, unanimously agreed that the said priors of England 
should take precedence of the priors of Messina. More- 
over, to remove all cause of dispute, which it was 
foreseen might in many ways arise, if any decree should 
be published regarding this precedence, it was resolved 
that no sentence should be recorded, the more so, as, in 
contesting the right of pre-eminence, it was generally 
acknowledged that the documents produced by autho- 
rity from the registry, in conformity with the regulations 
and ancient custom of this convent, form in themselves 
the most equitable and most dispassionate sentence that 
could possibly have been anticipated. It therefore 
seemed proper to the whole council that the most illus- 
trious and very reverend the Grand-Master, in order 


to intimate this right of pre-eminence, should proceed ^m* 
follows : namely, that after summoning the contending 
parties into his presence and that of his council, the very 
reverend the Grand-Master should assign to each his 
place, without the use of any words, and should allot by 
gesture the place of greater pre-eminence to the prior of 
England, and the place of less eminence to the prior of 
Messina ; without, however, in any way prejudicing any 
claims which he should at any future time lawfully make 
and support in favour of his pretensions : which com* 
mand the most illustrious the Grand- Master carried into 
execution, and having summoned the said priors into his 
presence, and into that of his council, said unto them, * Sir 
Knights, we, having listened attentively to the reports 
of the commissioners, and having subsequently discussed 
together all the arguments and reasons which each of 
you have respectively produced from the registry in 
favour of your pre-eminence, do ordain and require that 
you, the prior of England, should sit in that place, and 
you, the prior of Messina, in that other place, with- 
out prejudice to any further claims;' pointing to the 
places with his finger where they were to be seated. 
The position assigned to the prior of England was the 
more distinguished, because it was immediately below 
the marshal, who is second bailiff of the convent ; and 
that of the prior of Messina was inferior, from being 
below that of the admiral, who is the fourth in rank 
amongst the bailiffs of the convent. In which decision 
the said priors acquiesced ; and having each kissed the 
cross held by the Grand- Master, in token of obedience, 
they occupied the seats allotted to them without making 
any reply. And when, shortly after, they were called 
ui)on to vote concerning a matter that was being dis- 

X 2 


cussed by the council, the prior of England spoke first, 
and after him the prior of Messina. When the proceed- 
ings of the council had been terminated in the manner 
above described, a considerable number of Knights who 
were waiting outside, and were, on this occasion, more 
numerous than usual, in consequence of the interest 
excited by the controversy, entered the hall on the 
door being opened, and found the councillors seated 
and the priors each in his appointed place, so that 
whilst the vice-chancellor was collecting the documents 
and memorials of the sitting, as is customary, it was 
publicly noticed that the prior of England was the 
second from the left hand, and the prior of Messina 
the third from the right hand of the most illustrious 
and most reverend the Grand-Master ; which scene, 
besides narrating as above, I thought proper to re- 
present in painting, as well to preserve a memorial 
of so wise and prudent a decision, as that so excellent 
an example should be imitated whenever controversies 
arise respecting pre-eminence, which pre-eminence is so 
honourable to the reputation, and absolutely necessary 
for the peace of the convent. Thus it is. 

J. Oliver Starkey." 
This Knight, who was himself an Englishman, was 
naturally jealous of the honours and prerogatives of his 
language, then rapidly vanishing from the ranks of the 
Order, and encroached upon by members of the other 
nations. He was, therefore, determined that, although 
no registry was made of this decree, it should not be 
lost sight of in after years, and consequently wrote the 
elaborate report above quoted, without which the matter 
might speedily have been forgotten, and the same claims 
again set up by the succeeding priors of Messina, or 


some other dignitary. Not content with the written 
description of the scene, Starkey appears, by what he 
has stated in this document, to have summoned the art 
of painting also to his aid, to record permanently the 
triumph of his language, and to have had recourse 
to canvas, as well as to paper, for the information of 
posterity. What has become of the picture of this 
scene is not known, nor is it very clear, by what he 
states above, whether Starkey was himself the artist, or 
whether he merely engaged some one skilled with the 
brush to perpetuate the. triumph. In this case the 
paper appears to have done its duty more clearly and 
distinctly than the canvas, and to have left a record, 
which is still available to the historian, to correct the 
error which had crept into the Order during its later 
years, when there was no one present to take up the 
cudgels for the unfortunate language of England, and, 
like Sir Richard Shelley, the hero of the above scene, to 
insist on being placed in his proper rank. 

The following list comprises the principal founders 
and subsequent benefactors to the Order of St. John 
within the English language, from the date of its first 
establishment : — 

Lord Jordan Brisaet • . Who founded the House at Clerkenwell for 

the Order in 1 101 ; which establishment 
was subsequently raised into a Priory by 
Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in 
1185. This institution remained the 
chief seat of the Order in England, until 
its final suppression in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth. 

King Henry I Founded three Houses for the Order. 

King David L of Scotland Founded the Sacred Preceptory of the 

Order of St. John at Torpicheuy in Lin-> 
fithgowshire ; which continued to be the 
X 8 


chief seat of the Order in Scotland, till 
its final suppression in that country in 
the middle of the sixteenth century. 

King Malcolm IV. of Incorporated all the possessions of the 
Scotland Order in that country into a bnrony, free 

of all courts, customs, tolls, &c 

Richard de Clare, Earl of Founded, cir. 1 174, the Priory of St. John 
Pembroke, commonly at Kilmainham, near Dublin ; which, 
called Strongbow af^er the suppression of the Knights- 

Templars in the beginning of the four- 
teenth century, became the chief seat of 
the Order in that country. 

King William (sumamed Added to the donations originally made by 
the Lion) of Scotland his brother and grandfather. 

William Earl of Pem- Founded, cir. 1196, the Commandery of 
broke, called " The St. John and St. Bridget at Wexford ; 
Great Earl " which was the chief seat of the Order 

in Ireland, until it was removed to 
Kilmainham in 1313. 

Sir Walter de Lacy, Lord Founded, in the twelfth century, a Com- 
of Midie manderj of St. John at Kilmainham-beg, 

in the countj of Meath, Ireland. 

King Henry 11. . . . Concentrated the Sisters of the Order into 

a Priory at Bucklands, in Somersetshire. 
Ho also founded in Ireland the Com- 
mandery of St. Congal, near Clontarf. 

Sir Gilbert de Borard . In the twelfth century, founded the Com- 
mandery of Killergy, in the county of 
Carlow, Ireland. 

Sir Hugh de Lacy • . About the same time, founded the Com- 
mandery of St. John the Baptist, in the 
territory of Ardes, county of Down, 

William de Burgo • . Whose wife Juliana, in the year 1 185, gave 

the whole of the parish and manor of 
Little Mapplestead, in the county of 
Essex, to the Order of St John. 

Robert de Yere, Earl of Made a grant of land to the Order in the 
Oxford twelfth century. 

Lord Osbert de Glafden Did the same. 



Ricliard Cooar de LioD» 
King of England 

William de Ferrers, Earl 
of Ferrers 

The Earl of Chester 

William Longsword, Earl 
of Salisbury 

Sir Morice Fitzgerald . 

King Alexander IL of 


> Did the same. 

Sir Alexander de St. 

King Alexander III. . 

Robert the Bruce, King 
of Scotland 

King James I. of Scotland 

King James II. of Scot- 

. land 

King James UL of Scot- 

King James IV. of Scot- 

In the thirteenth century, founded the three 
Commanderies of Kilbegs, Elilheel, and 
Tully, in the county of Kildare, Ireland. 

In a charter, dated at Edinburgh on the 3rd 
of June, 1231, gives " To Gk)d and St. 
John, and the Brethren of the Hospital 
of Torphiphyn, all previous donations of 
property, licences, customs, he. ; ordain- 
ing that the same should subsist in per- 
petuity, for the love of God and for the 
benefit of the souls, as well of those that 
had gone before him, as of those who 
should follow him." 

In the thirteenth century, founded the 
Commandery of Morne, in the county of 
Cork, Ireland. 

In 1266, granted a new charter to the 
Order, confirming all their existing pri- 
vileges, &c. 

Conferred many tokens of his royal favour 
on the Order, for the services they had ren- 
dered him in the battle of Bannockburn. 

Granted letters of administration under the 
great seal, 14th October, 1421, in favour 
of Thomas Gudwyn and John Lidall, to 
all the lands and possessions of the 
Hospital of St. John within his kingdom. 

Confirmed the benefactions of former 

Did the same. 

Did the same. He also created the barony 
and regality of Torphichen into a tem- 
X 4 


pond lordship, and ordained tha^ ^ Tir- 
tute officii," the successive PreoeptOTS 
should take their places as Peers of 
Parliament, bj the name and title of 
Lord St John*s. 

King Henry YII. of In 1502 was elected Protector of the 
England Knights of Rhodes, in consequence of 

his writing a letter to the Pope, in which 
he thus expressed himself: — '* I will be 
as redie to the defense of the Christen 
Faithe as any prince cristened ; and 
in this behalf nother to spare goods^ 
richesse, nor men, nor jet in mj own 
propre person, yf it be nede." 

King Philip of Spain, Restored the Order of St. John by a royal 
King Consort of Eng* charter, dated 2nd April, 1557, and con- 
land, together with stituted the Grand-Prior and his brother 

Queen Mary of England Knights a corporation, with a common 

seal, and a perpetual succession.* 

This branch of the subject cannot be more appro- 
priately closed than by annexing the names of some of 
those amongst the English Knighthood of the Order, 
who have in any way rendered themselves celebrated 
or notorious. It will be perceived that many of these 
took part in the various struggles which disturbed 
England, as well during the civil wars of the Roses, as 
in those so constantly maintained against Scotland. In 
these acts they were undoubtedly violating one of the 
fundamental laws of their Order ; still, so far from 
drawing down blame on themselves, they appear fre- 
quently to have realised princely rewards. 

* Vide Appendix, No. 18. 



Roberto de Ricardo ; 
Anglice, Robert Fitz* 
Richard, son of Eustace 
Fitz-John, called, in the 
pedigrees of the Lacys, 
Claverings, and other 
families of a similar 
descent, '^Robert the 
Hospitaller " 

Garnier de Napoli . • 

He lived in the commencement of the 
twelfth century, and is named as a co- 
temporary of Gerard. 

First Grand-Prior of England, at the time 
when that language was visited by the 
Master, Roger des Moulins, and the 
Patriarch, Heraclius. He is not to be 
confounded with the Gamier de Napoli, 
or de Syrie, who became Master of the 
Order in 1187, upon the death of Roger 
des Moulins, and who was killed at the 
battle of Tiberias in that same year, al- 
though all the historians of the Order 
have fallen into that error. The Grand- 
Master had been Turcopolier, and was, 
in all probability, brother to the Grand- 
Prior. The English name was, pro- 
bably, Gardiner. That they were two 
different persons is clear, from the fol- 
lowing extract of a manuscript in the 
possession of the Canon, Francis Smitmer, 
of Vienna (an original MS.) : — "Omnibus 
Sancte Matris Ecclesiae filiis tam pre- 
sentibus quam futuris, Gamerius de 
Neapoli, Prior et totum Capitulum fra- 
trum Hospitalis Hierosolomitani in An- 
glia, eternam in Domino salutem. Novit 
universitas vestra quod nos tenemur 
servire et divina celebrare cotidie in ca- 
pella Yillelmi filii Nigelli apud Leverling 
salvo jure ecdesisB de Pecham in omnibus 
quod ut fermiter obscrvetur present! 
scripto et sigilli nostri testimonio cura- 
vimus confirmare testibus fratre Alano, 






fratre Mathon, frafre Roberto de Lindes, 
et preceptors Eanted, fratre Roberto filio 
Riccordiy fratre Hugone de Cbahull, 
fratre Ilberto deViluton, fratre Henrico 
de Noel> Walton Clerico. Anno Domini 
Incamationis MCLXXXIX., apud 
London Ordinatio Fr. Gramerii de 
Neapoli, Prioris in Anglia." This 
document proves that Garnier was ex- 
ercising the office, of Grand-Prior of 
England two years after his namesake, 
the Grand-Master, had been killed at 

Sir Walter Levinge • . A Knight of St. John, and companion- 
in-arms of Richard Coeur de Lion in 

Sir Henry Bayntun . . Knight of St. John, son of Sir Henry 

Bayntun, Knight-Marshal to Henry IL : 
killed in Bretagne in 1201. 

Theodore de Nuzza • • Grand-Prior of England, cir. 1230. The 

Grand-Master, Bertrand de Comps, 
having, in 1237, invoked assistance from 
the west to recruit the diminished ranks 
of his fraternity in Palestine, a body of 
300 Knights, headed by De Nuzza, led 
their Priory at Clerkenwell, with the 
Banner of St. John unfurled, and ac- 
companied by a considerable body of 
armed stipendiaries. Their ranks were 
also swelled by the presence of Prince 
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, Simon de 
Monfort, Earl of Leicester, and William 
Longsp^e, son of the famous Earl of Salis- 
bury. Their arrival in Jaffa induced the 
Sultan of Egypt to offer the most ad- 
vantageous terms of peace to the Chris- 

Grand-Preceptor of Scotland. Although 

he was not the first who held sway in 
Scotland, there are no records remaining 




Alexander de Welles 

Randulpli do Lindesay 

of his predecessors. His name is men- 
tioned in a charter of Prince Alexander, 
Grand-Steward of Scotland, dated 1262, 
as *' Archibaldus, Magister de Torpichen." 
During his tenure, the establishment at 
Torpichen was raised into a Baronj and 
Regality of St. John, and Preceptory of 

Whose name appears among those who 
swore fealty to Edward L, King of Eng- 
land, in the chapel of Edinburgh Castle, 
July, 1291, as follows: — "Alexander, 
Prior Hospitalis Sancti Johannis Hiero- 
soloraitani, in Scotia." And also in the 
Eaguel Roll sworn at Berwick on the 
28th August, 1296, there stands, "Frere 
Alexandre de Wells, Gardeyn del Hos- 
pital de Soint Johan de Jerusalem en 
Ecoce." He was killed at the battle of 
Falkirk, on the 22nd July, 1298 ; Sir 
William Wallace having previously made 
the Preceptory of Torpichen the head 
quarters of his army for some months. 

Succeeded Alexander de Welles as Grand- 
Preceptor of Scotland after the battle of 
Falkirk, and continued to hold that office 
until after the battle of Bannockburn had 
placed Robert Bruce's family upon the 
throne of Scotland. It was at this time 
that, by a bull of Pope Clement YU., 
and a canon of the Council of Vienna, 
the whole of the Templar lands in Scot- 
land were transferred to the Hospital, 
comprising Temple on the South Esk, 
Balantradoch in Mid Lothian, Aboyne 
and Tulloch in Aberdeenshire, Agger- 
stoune in Stirlingshire, St. Germ&ins ini 
East Lothian, Inchynan in Renfrewshire, 
Derval in Ayrshire, Dinwoodie in An- 
nandale, Red-Abbey^Sted in Roxburgh- 



shire, and Temple Listen in West 
Lothian. This Preceptor was a member 
of the noble house of Lindsay, Earls of 
Crawford, and premier Earls of Scotland. 

William de Tothale . . Grand-Prior of England, 1301. He was 

summoned to the various parliaments of 
King Edward L and King Edward IL as 
the first Baron of the Eealm. During 
his swaj the Templar lands in England 
were transferred to the Hospital. 

William More • • • . Grand-Preceptor of Scotland during the 

reign of King David IL He granted a 
charter of the Temple lands of Cowan- 
ston, in the county of Lanark, to Adam 
Pakok. In this charter, which was 
granted ^'communi consilio et assensu 
fratrum nostrorum," he is entitled 
^'Willelmus More, Custos Hospitalis 
Sancti Johannis de Torphejn." 

Robert de Culter • • . Was Procurator of the Hospital at Torpi- 

chen about the same time, and is men- 
tioned as such in the foregoing deed. 

Sir Giles de Argintine • A Knight of the Hospital, who gained 

great renown in the Holj Land during 
the later years of Christian domination 
there. He was killed at the battle of 
Bannockburn in 1314, having first suc- 
ceeded in rescuing Edward II. from the 
perils of that disastrous conflict. 

John Builbrux • . . • Was the first Turcopolier of the English 

language, having been the holder of that 
dignity at the time when the General 
Chapter at Montpelier, in 1329, divided 
the Order into seven languages, and ap- 
propriated the Turcopoliership to the 
English branch. 

Thomas Larcher • • . Grand-Prior of England. In spite of the 

great accession of wealth consequent on 
the suppression of the Templar frater- 
nity, and the transfer of their lands to 



the Hospital, this dignitary succeeded in 
inyolving the finances of his Priorj into 
such hopeless confusion, that a successor 
was nominated in 1329 to take the ad- 
ministration out of his hands. The 
reckless manner in which he granted 
pensions and created other encumbrances 
would, had he not been suspended, have 
eventuallj annihilated the whole of the 
property which the Order possessed in 

Leonard de Tybertis • • Originally Prior of Venice. Being a man 

of extreme tact and skill in administra- 
tion, was nominated to succeed Larcher 
in the Priory of England, in order to 
unravel the tangled web which had be- 
come so complicated under his prede- 
cessor. In this difficult task he suc- 
ceeded admirably. He was appointed to 
the Priory in 1329. 

Philip de Thame • . . Succeeded Tybertis in the Priory of Eng- 
land. In the year 1338 he made a report 
to the Grand- Master, Ely on deVillanova, 
of the state of the Order's property in 
England, which document has been 
amply referred to in a preceding chapter 
of this work. 

William Middleton . . Is mentioned as holding the office of Tur- 

copolier at a General Chapter held at 
Ilhodes in 1366. 

Sir Robert Hales . • Grand-Prior of England. He was in the 

suite of the Grand-Master Heredia, wher^ 
in 1377, he escorted Pope Gregory XL 
from Avignon to Civita Vecchia, on the 
occasion of the transfer of the seat of 
papal government from the former place 
to Rome. Under his priorate, the Order 
sustained a severe loss by the destruction 
of the Priory of Glerkenwell by fire, in 
1381, during the insurrection of Wat 



Sir John de BadTogton 

Bir Henry Livingstone 

Sir Patrick Skoiigall 4 

Tyler. ''This building, in its widely 
varied decorations, both internally and 
externally, is said to have contained 
specimens of the arts, both of Curope 
and Asia, together with a collection of 
books and rarities, the loss of which in 
a less turbulent age would have been 
a theme for national lamentation." The 
fire lasted for eight days, and the build- 
ing was completely destroyed. The 
Prior's residence at Highbury was also 
burnt, and he himself lost his life, as is 
shown by the following extract from the 
patent granted by King James to Sir 
Edward Hales, a descendant of the Prior*s, 
making him Earl of Tenterden. ** Robert 
Hales, formerly Lord High Treasurer of 
our kingdom of England^ and Ptior of 
the Hospital, who, upon account of a 
most prudent advice which he gave to 
our predecessor, King Richard IL, had, 
on a popular sedition, by the fury of the 
mob, his head struck off." 

There is a record that, on the 23rd Sep- 
tember, 1383, this Prior swore fealty to 
King Richard IL, and at the same time 
enjoined the king not to allow his obe- 
dience and loyalty to prejudice in future 
the ancient privileges of the Order to 
which he belonged. 

Preceptor of Torphichen, and chief of the 
Order in Scotland in the reign of King 
James IL He was one of the noble 
family of Livingstone^ which embraced 
no less than three peerages amongst its 
members, vi£. the Earldom of Linlith* 
gow, the Earldom of Callendar, and the 
Viscounty of Kilsyth. 

In a charter to Temple lands, dated 20th 
October^ 1560, is designated Eoiighl- 



Commendator of the Order of St. John 
of Jerusalem in Scotland, and Master of 

Sir William Knolls . . Grand -Preceptor of Scotland. He was 

Lord Treasurer under King James IV., 
who raised him to the peerage, under the 
title of Lord St. John's, which dignity 
devolved upon each of his successors till 
the Reformation. He was killed at the 
battle of Flodden Field, 1 1 th September, 

Sir John Langstrother . Was Bailiff of Aquila in 1466. He had 

been the bearer of a letter from Grand- 
Master de Lastic to King Henrj YI., and 
took part with the house of Lancaster in 
the wars of the Roses. He was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Tewkesbury in 
1471, and was put to death in cold blood 
by order of Eling Edward TV. His near 
kinsman and predecessor in the Baili- 
wick of Aquila was Sir William Lang- 
strother, who held that rank at a General 
Chapter which sat at Rome on the 22nd 
February, 1446. Both of these dignitaries 
were buried in the church of St. John 
at Clerkenwell. 

Sir John Weston . • . Held the offices of General of the Galleys, 

Turcopolier, and Grand- Prior of Eng- 
land successively, attaining the latter 
title in 1482. 

Sir 1 homas Delamere . A Knight of St. John : was High Sheriff 

of Berkshire in 1473. 

Sir Henry Stradling . . Was the third generation of his family who 

visited Jerusalem and became a Knight 
of St. John. His father, Sir Edward, 
who married Jane, grand-daughter of 
John of Gaunt, and his grandfather Sir 
William, both did the same. The family 
was settled at St. Donats in Somerset- 

320 A HiSTOBT or 

Sir John Kendall • • • Was Turcopolier in 1477, and Grand- Prior 

of England in 1489. He was present at 
Rhodes during the siege of 1480. 

Sir James Heting^ or Was Grand-Prior of Ireland at the time of 
Keating. the siege of Rhodes in 1480 ; and was 

deprived of his dignitj for not hastening 
thither when summoned. 

Sir Marmaduke Lumlej Was present at the siege of Rhodes in 1480» 

and dangerously wounded. He was 
made Grand Prior of Ireland in the place 
of Keating. 

Sir John Yaquelin, Com- \ 
mander of Carbouch 

Sir Thomas Bem, Bailiff 
of the Eagle 

Sir Henry Haler, Com- I Were all killed at the siege of Rhodes 
mander of Badsfort ( in 1480. 

Sir Thomas Ploniton 

Sir Adam Tedbond 

Sir Henry Batasbi 

Sir Henry Anulai 

Sir Thomas Docwra, or Turcopolier in 1498> and Grand-Prior of 
Docray. England in 1501 ; was the second son of 

Richard Docray of Bradsyille, in the 
county of York^ and his wife Alice» 
daughter of Thomas Greene, of Gressing- 
ham, in the same county. He was pre- 
sent at the siege of Rhodes in 1480. 
During his priorate the new establish- 
ment at Clerkcnwelly which was built to 
replace that burnt by Wat Tyler's mob 
in 1381, was completed. It had been 
123 years in construction, and Camden 
speaks of it when finished as follows : — 
'' This house, increased to the size of a 
palace, had a beautiful church with a 
tower, carried up to such a height as to 
be a singular ornament to the city." The 
only portion of the original building not 
destroyed in 1381 was the gatehoose, and 



that is still standing, a yenerable relic of 
the first establishment of the Order in 
these kingdoms. Docraj possessed con- 
siderable talents in diplomacy, and a 
princely revenue. These advantages 
weighed so strongly in his favour that 
when, in 1521, he was a candidate for 
the office of Grand-Master^ in opposition 
to L*Isle Adam and the chancellor 
d*AmaraI, he only lost the election by 
one vote, in spite of the entire French 
influence, which was brought to bear in 
favour of L'Isle Adam. He died in 

Were all present at the siege of Rhodes 
in 1480. 

Sir Leonard de Tybertis • 

Sir Walter Viselberg 

Sir John Bucht . • . 

Sir John Besoel, or Bos- 

Sir George Dundas • . Second Lord St. John's and Grand-Preceptor 

of Scotland: elected in 1513. The sig- 
nature '' G. Lord Sanctis Joanys" appears 
in the notarial deed of the engagement 
of the Scottish Lords to the queen, dated 
1524. His schoolfellow. Hector Boece, 
thus describes him, ** Georgius Dundas 
Grecas utque Latin us literas opprime 
Doctus, Equitum Hierosolomitanorum 
intra Scotorum regnum Magistratum 
roulto sudore (superatis emulis) postea 

Sir John Bouch, or Buck "Turcopolier, said to be of the family of 

Hanely Grange, in the county of Lincoln, 
was one of the Knights selected by L'Isle 
Adam to act as lieutenants under him at 
the siege of Rhodes in 1522. He was 
killed on the 17th September of that 
year, in resisting an attack made on the 
English bastion by Mustapha. 

Sir William Onascon . . Commanded at the English quarter in the 

VOL. If. Y 



above siege. (Query, was he not Sir 
William Weston ? ) 

Sir Henry Mansel • . Was in the Grand-Master*s suite, and killed 

during the above siege. 

Sir Nicholas Ilussey . • Was Commander of the English bastion at 

the above siege. He was afterwards one 
of the commissioners despatched by L*Isle 
Adam to inspect the islands of Malta and 
Gozo, in 1528. 

Sir John Ransom . . . Was present at the siege of Rhodes. He 

was afterwards made Turcopolier; and 
eventually, at the special request of King 
Henry VHI., Grand-Prior of Ireland. 
He died in 1547. 

Sir Thomas Sheffield . 

Sir Nicholas Farfan . 

Sir William Weston . 

Sir William Tuest (Query 
West) . • . . . 

Sir John Baron . . 

Sir Thomas Remberton 

Sir George Asfely 

Sir John Lotu . . • 

Sir Francis Buet . . 

Sir Giles Rosel • . 

Sir George Emer . . 

Sir Michael Roux . • 

Sir Nicholas Usel • . 

Sir Otho de Montselli 

Sir Nicholas Rubert . 

Sir Thomas Newport . A member of a distinguished Shropshire 

family : was Turcopolier of the Order in 
1500. During the siege of Rhodes in 
1522 he persisted in embarking from 
Dover in a violent storm, and was lost at 
sea with all his forces. 
Was a member of a distinguished Derby- 
shire family. He was Commander of 
Mount St. John in 1520, and afterwards 
became Bailiff of Aquila. 

Were all present at the siege of Rhodes 
in 1522. 

Sir Alban Pole 

. • • 



Sir John BabiDgton 

Sir John Moljstein 
Sir Walter Lindsay 

Sir William Weston 

Was second son of Thomas Babington, in 
the county of Derby, and of Editha, 
daughter of Ralph Fiiz-Herbert, of Nor- 
bury, in the same county. He was Com- 
mander of Dalby and Rothely* and sub- 
sequently held the offices of Bailiff of 
Aquila^ and Grand -Prior of Ireland, suc- 

Was Chancellor of the Provincial Chapter 
of the English language in 1526. 

Was third Lord St. John's, and Preceptor 
of Scotland. He was Justice-General 
of Scotland during the reign of King 
James Y., and died in 1538. 

Grand-Prior of England, temp. Henry VHI. 
By an act passed in 1533, it was made 
lawful for Viscounts, the Pryour of Seint 
John of Jerusalem, and Barons, to wear 
in their dublettes or sleveless coates, 
clothe of golde, sylver or tynsel. This 
decree clearly marks the rank of the 
Grand-Prior of England as inferior to 
viscounts^ but superior to barons. Dur- 
ing his rule commenced the quarrel 
between Henry VHI. and the Pope, 
which led to the Reformation. Li this 
quarrel the Order of St. John, who had 
always proved themselves true and obe- 
dient sons of the Church, sided with the 
Pope, and resisted the divorcement of 
Queen Katharine. The result was the 
complete destruction of the Order in 
England. A bloody persecution set in, 
lasting from 1534 to 1540, which ended 
in the utter annihilation of the fraternity, 
and during which many Knights pe- 
rished on the scaffold. In April, 1540, 
an act passed both Houses of the Legis- 
lature, vesting in the Crown all the 
possessions, castles, manors, churches, 

Y 2 


houses, &c., of the Order of St. John. 
Out of this revenue, pensions to the 
amount of 2870/. were granted to the 
late Lord Prior, and to other members 
of the Institution. Henry granted the 
site of the Priory and its precincts to 
John, Lord Lisle, as a reward for his 
services in the capacity of High Admiral. 
In 1549, the Church of St. John, which 
had long been considered one of the 
greatest ornaments of London, was des- 
troyed, and the materials employed by the 
Lord Protector Somerset, in the con- 
struction of Somerset House. The old 
gateway, which survived the former 
destruction of the main building, in the 
time of Wat Tyler, was again spared, 
and still remains, almost a solitary relic, 
on the site where the White Cross fra- 
ternity for so many centuries had dwelt 
in peace and honour. The pension 
which Henry so liberally granted to Sir 
William Weston out of the latter's own con- 
fiscated property, was not long enjoyed. 
The venerable Prior, broken-hearted at 
the utter annihilation of his Order, and 
unable to bear up against the calamities 
which had befallen the Institution, died 
of grief on Ascension Day, 1540, in the 
very year when his pension was first 
granted to him. He was buried in the 
Chancel of St. James's Church, Clerk- 
en well, where an altar tomb in the archi- 
tectural style of the age, representing 
him as an emaciated figure lying upon a 
winding sheet, was erected over his re- 
mains. Sir William Weston was tlie last 
Grand-Prior of England, who could be 
considered legitimately entitled to that 
rank, until the time when Queen Mary 


restored the Order for a brief space, when, 
as will be seen presently, two fresh acces- 
sions were made to that dignity. In 1798 
his tomb was opened, and the mouldering 
remains within were found in an attitude 
not unlike that of the 6gure upon the 
tomb. He had been present at the siege 
of Rhodes, in 1522, where he had greatly 
distinguished himself. 
Sir Clement West . . Turcopolier of the Order, rendered himself 

notorious by the turbulence and dis- 
respect of his conduct. In the General 
Chapter held in 1632, he argued that the 
proxies for the Grand-Priors of England 
and Ireland, and for the Bailiff of Aquiia, 
should not be admitted to vote, and the 
assembly having decided against that 
opinion, he broke out into the most un- 
seemly and blasphemous language, call- 
ing the Procurators Saracens, Jews, and 
bastards. The latter then preferred a 
complaint against him, and, when called 
upon for explanation, he merely stated 
that it was impossible for him to know 
whether they were Jews or not, for that 
they certainly were not Englishmen. 
The Council thereupon enjoined him to 
ask pardon, but this he energetically re- 
fused to do, and, flying into a violent 
passion, began cursing and swearing most 
vehemently, and, throwing his mantle 
upon the ground, said that if he deserved 
condemnation at all, he ought to be de- 
prived of his habit, and put to death. 
Thereupon he drew his sword, and left 
the Council chamber, to the great scandal 
of all present. In consequence of this 
behaviour he was deprived of his habit, 
and of the dignity of Turcopolier. As 
soon as this news reached England, great 

T 3 


exertions were made to restore West to 
his office. The Knight John Sutton was 
despatched by the Grand-Prior of Eng- 
land, and the Duke of Norfolk, to beg 
that he might be reinstated. From the 
letters which this envoy presented to the 
Council, on the 23rd February, 1533, it 
appeared that the feeling in England 
was, that West had been unjustly con- 
demned^ and that a bad feeling had 
sprung up against him, owing to his 
wearing an Order appertaining to the 
King of England. The Council, feeling 
much aggrieved at so foul a calumny, 
the Grand-Master directed a commission 
to inquire into the whole business, con- 
sisting of the English Knight Sir Edward 
Bellingham, the Italian, Aurelio Botti- 
gella, and the Aragonese, Baptiste YiU 
laragut, and at the same time expressed 
himself in the highest terms of King 
Henry YllLf whom he considered as one 
of the special protectors of the Order. 
This, it must be remembered, was in the 
commencement of 1533, the year before 
Henry began those proceedings against 
the fraternity which for ever deprived 
him of all claim to such a title. The 
report of these commissioners is not in 
existence, but by a decree dated 26th 
April, 1533, West was reinstated in his 
former dignity of Turcopolier,he having 
shown signs of repentance. The lesson 
thus bestowed upon this turbulent Knight 
appears to have been utterly thrown 
away, for in 1537 he was again placed 
under arrest for acts of disobedience, and 
for provoking another Knight to fight a 
duel, and, in 1539, he was placed in 
arrest by a decree of the Council, for 

the: knights of malt a. 


The Commander Ingley 
Sir Adrian Forrest • • 
Sir Adrian Fortescue • 
Sir Marmaduke Bowes 

Sir Thomas Mjrtton . 
Sir Edward Waldegrave 
Sir Richard Bell . . 
Sir James Bell . . 
Sir John Noel . . 
Sir Gjles Russell . 


Sir Nicholas Upton 

disrespect to their body, pending the re- 
turn of the Grand-Master, who extended 
that arrest for four months, and finally 
he was again deprived of the dignity of 
Turcopoiier, on the 3rd September of 
that year, at the instance of the English 
Knights then in the Convent. He had, 
however, evidently been held as a per- 
son of consideration, for, on the death of 
Peter Dupont, in 1634, he was nominated 
Lieutenant of the Grand-Mastery during 
the interregnuuL 
All perished on the scaffold during the per- 
secutions under Henry VIII. The por- 
trait of Fortescue is still to be seen in 
St. John's Church, at Malta, with a sprig 
of palm in his hand^ an emblem of his 

Both died in prison at the same crisis. 

Abandoned their country and retired to 
Malta, in preference to abjuring their 
profession as Knights of St. John. 

Turcopolier in 1539. At the death of this 
Knight in 1543, it was decreed by the 
Council that there should be no further 
nomination to the office of Turcopolier, 
until the Catholic religion should once 
again be re-established in England. Sir 
Nicholas Upton was, however, allowed 
to exercise the office under the title of 
Lieutenant of the Turcopolier. 

Lieutenant of the Turcopolier, as above 
stated* in 1543. He was the second son 
of John Upton of Lupton, in the county 
of Devon, and Anne Cooper, a member 
of a Somersetshire family. He attained 
so high a distinction in the fraternity, 
for his knightly and gallant conduct, 
that his Lieutenancy of the Turcopolier- 

T 4 


ship was converted into tLe Turcopolier- 
ship itself, as will be seen bj the following 
decree, dated 25th November, 1548: 
** It being consonant with reason that 
those generoas Knights of oar Order 
whose remarkable puritj of life and 
manners recommend them, whose virtues 
adorn them, and whose glorj is rendered 
greatly and widelj famous bj the deeds 
done bj them in defence of the Catholic 
faith, should be called to the highest 
grades of honour and dignity, so that 
having received the rewards due to them, 
they may feel themselves recompensed 
for their constant labours, and may be- 
come further excited to still greater 
exertions, so as to deserve at a future 
period still more distinguished rewards, 
we have raised our beloved Knight, 
Nicholas Upton, to the dignity of a 
Turcopolier of his language." Under 
date of the 11th July, 1548, only four 
months before the above decree was 
made, it is recorded that the Commander 
and Acting Turcopolier, Nicholas Upton, 
was in such impoverished circumstances 
as to be unable to defray some trifling 
expenses connected witb his Language, 
which, by his office, devolved upon him ; 
and that he Mas compelled, for the pur- 
pose of settling these debts, and for the 
payment of the passage to England of 
an authorised person to recover some 
property of which the English Langua^fe^*. 
had been unjustly deprived, to give in 
pledge a silver basin, for the sum of fifty 
scudi (4/. 3*. Ad.) The poverty of Upton 
continued so great, that this basin re- 
mained in pawn until, at his death, it was 
redeemed by the proceeds of the sale of 


his personal effects. Sir Nicholas Upton 
died in 1551, from the effects of a coup' 
de-soleily which he received whilst gal- 
lantly resisting an attempted descent 
upon the island of Malta by Dragut. 
His little band of 30 Knights and 400 
native volunteers succeeded in thwarting 
the designs of the piratical Infidel, though 
he himself lost his life in the effort. The 
Grand-Master John d*Omedes declared 
his death to be a national loss ; and, in 
company with many others of the frater- 
nity, wept whilst following his beloved 
remains to their last home. 
Sir Oswald Massinbert . Was the second son of Sir Thomas Mas- 

sinbert of Sutton, in the county of Lin- 
coln, and of Joan, daughter and heiress 
of John Bray toft of Bray toft, in the 
same county. He was appointed Prior 
of Ireland in 1547, at the request of 
Cardinal Pole ; and Turcopolier on the 
death of Sir Nicholas Upton, 1551. 
Massinbert appears, like Clement West, 
to have been a man of a most violent 
apd insubordinate temper, and to have 
been in continual trouble whilst resident 
in Malta, either with the Grand-Master, 
or with his brother Knights. On one 
occasion he was brought before the 
Council for the murder of four slaves ; 
and the amount of protection which 
these unfortunates were in the habit of 
receiving at the hands of that tribunal 
may be gathered from the fact, that the 
only punishment awarded to Massinbert 
for this dastardly act, was deprivation of 
his habit for two days, and the loss of 
his dignity as Commander for a short 
|>eriod. The following entry appears 
also amongst the manuscript records of 



Sir Thomas Tresham 

Sir Richard Shellej 

became penitent, and on the 12th October 
demanded pardon for his errors of the 
Grand- Master and Council. This favour 
was only granted after it had been provedt 
to the satisfaction of the said Council, 
that Greorge Dudley had become, through 
his humiliation and prayers, absolved from 
his apostasy and the other crimes by him 
committed, and reconciled and restored 
to the bosom of the holy mother church. 
He was, therefore, re-admitted into the 
fraternity, and on the 11th of the fol- 
lowing May it was decreed, "that on 
account of the poverty of the Brother 
George Dudley, at present the only 
English Brother of the venerable Lan- 
guage of England, permission should be 
granted for him to sue for, exact, and 
recover all the revenues and rents of 
houses belonging to the said Language 
existing in the new town of Yaletta, 
from any and all of the tenants, and to 
give receipts for the same so long as the 
venerable Language be congregated and 
exist in the Order." 

• Was nominated Grand-Prior of England at 
the restoration of the Order in that 
country by the Royal Charter of Queen 
Mary, dated 2nd April, 1567, and as 
such was summoned to the first and 
second parliaments of Queen Elizabeth. 
In the year 1569, however. Queen 
Elizabeth again destroyed the Order of 
St. John within her dominions, on which 
occasion Tresham the Prior, Shelley the 
Turcopolier, and Felix de la Nuca the 
Bailiff of Aquila, retired from the 
country. Tresham proceeded to Malta, 
where he died in 1561. 

. Was the second son of Sir William Shelley 



Sir Oliver Starkey 

age, and his health infirm." He was 
both the last Turcopolier and the last 
Grand-Prior of England. 
Sir Peter Felice de la Nuca Was Bailiff of Aquila when the Order of 

St. John was restored in England by 
Queen Mary. At its suppression in 
1559 he retired to Malta, where he re- 
mained till the siege of that island in 
1565. On this occasion he greatly dis- 
tinguished himselfy and was killed in 
Fort St. Michael. 
. Was Latin Secretary to the Grand-Master 
La Yalette, and was present with him 
throughout the siege of Malta. He ap- 
pears to have thoroughly enjoyed the 
confidence of his chief, and to have been 
held in high estimation by all the mem- 
bers of the convent He was the author 
of the following linesi which were placed 
on La Valette's tomb : — 

nio Asia Libysoqae paver, Tutelaqae quondam 
Europce, Edomitis sacra per arma getis 
Primus in hac alma qnam condidit arbe sepnltoB 
Valetta CEtemo dignos honore jacet. . 

He was reduced to so great destitution 
whilst in Malta that a pension of a hundred 
scudi {SL 6s. 8dL) was awarded to him 
out of the public treasury. He was 
buried at the side of the chief he had 
loved and served so well, in a subter- 
ranean chapel under the church of St. 
John, in Valetta, Malta ; in which chapel 
also repose the remains of L*lsle Adam, 
and a few more of the Grand-Masters of 
that period. 
. Was second son of Sir James Sandilands, 
of Calder, and Marieta, daughter of 
Archibald Forrester, of Costorphino. 
He was recommended to the Grand- 
Master by Sir Walter Lyndsay, third 

Sir James Sandilands 


Polonaise ; but had no issue, and at his 
death in 1596, his title, and the pos- 
sessions which he had plundered from 
the Order, devolved on his grand-nephew, 
James Sandilands, of Calder. The pre- 
sent holder of the title, also a James 
Sandilands, is the seventh in descent 
from this Elnight 

This closes the list of the most celebrated amongst 
the Knights of the English language, which was now 
utterly annihilated ; and although every now and again 
Englishmen still entered the Order, and although the 
titles of Grand-Prior, and Turcopolier, as also the Baili- 
wick of Aquila, were conferred; still, as the dignities 
were merely nominal, the holders of them have not been 
included in this list. The language remained thus 
practically defunct, until the year 1782, when the 
Grand- Master de Rohan revived it, and combined it 
with that of Bavaria, under the title of the Anglo- 
Bavarian language. Long prior to this, however, at 
the close of the sixteenth century, the Pope, who was 
still not without hopes of seeing the fair land of Eng- 
land return under his sway, had directed that the dignity 
of Turcopolier should be united to that of the Grand- 
Mastery, in order that the successive chiefs of the In- 
stitution might hold it in trust, in case the language 
should ever be revived. This occurred during the 
Grand-Mastership of Hugh de Verdala* 

In the commencement of the eighteenth century, we 
find the following letter from James (the Pretender), 
son of James II., ex-king of England. The contents 
may well raise a smile, seeing that they are from a king 
without a throne, directing the Grand-Master not to 
nominate without his approval to dignities which in 


language was held, at which an envoy extraordinary was 
present from the continental languages, on which occa- 
sion the late Sir Robert Peat was elected grand-prior 
of England, and the language regularly re-organised. 
On the 24th February 1834, proceedings were taken 
before Sir Thomas Denman, Chief Justice of England, 
when the Grand Prior formally revived the corporation 
of the English language, under the royal letters patent 
of King Philip and Queen Mary ; and took the oath " de 
fideli administratione." And since that period the 
vacancies in the dignities of the Order have been regu- 
larly filled up. They are at present occupied as 
follows : — 

Lieutenant-Turcopolier . The Hon. Sir Henry Djmock, Grand-Cross 

of St. John of Jerusalem, 17th Hereditary 
Champion of the English Crown. 

Grand-Prior of England The Hon. Sir Charles Montolieu Lamb, 

Bart., Grand-Cross of St John of Jeru- 
salem, Knight-Marshal of Her Majesty's 

Preceptor of Scotland . The Chevalier Sir James Burnes, Grand- 
Cross of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Prior of Ireland . . . Sir Charles Routledge O^Donnell, Grand- 
Cross of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Lieut.-Bailiff of Wales . Edward G. L. Perrott, Grand-Cross of 

St. John of Jerusalem. 

Bailiff of Aquila . . . Sir John Philippart, Grand-Cross of St. 

John of Jerusalem. 

Lieut.-Bailiff of Aquila . Major Sir Warwick Hill Tonkin, Knt., 

Grand- Cross of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Grand -Secretary . . . The Hon. Sir Richard Broun, Bart., Grand- 
Cross of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Chancellor The Chevalier Williams, Grand-Cross of 

St. John of Jerusalem. 

Grave doubts exist as to the legitimacy of this revived 

VOL. II. z 











The seventeenth century opened with the accession of 
Alof de Vignacourt to the dignity of fifty-second Grand- 
Master of the Order of St, John, This Knight, at the 
age of seventeen years, had joined the ranks of the fra- 
ternity at Malta, in 1564, at the time when they were 
expecting an immediate attack from the Infidel ; and in 
the following year he passed through all the dangers 
and fatigues of the celebrated siege under La Valette. 
He was subsequently named governor of Valetta ; and, 
as his services increased, so he rose in dignity, until he 
attained the post of grand-hospitaller ; and at the death 
of Garces, in 1601, he was raised to the vacant oflSce of 

The cabals and disputes which disturbed the rule of 
his predecessors, appear to have calmed down under 
this chief; and although upon several occasions dissatis- 

z 2 



faction and turbulence still made themselves manifest, 
the peace of the convent was never materially affected. 
Several naval exploits of more or less importance graced 
the annals of his reign. Descents of a successful cha- 
racter were made upon the Mahometans in Barbary, 
Patras, and Lepanto in the Morea, and upon Lango,one of 
the former possessions of the Hospitallers in connection 
with the island of Rhodes. Laiazzo and Corinth also 
witnessed the daring inroads of the adventurous Knights, 
who realised from these various expeditions a vast 
amount of plunder, and stored the prisons of Malta 
with a considerable addition to the number of their 

That these exploits bore in any degree upon the 
general issue of the struggle between Christianity and 
Mahometanisrn, is more than the most partial historian 
of the Order could venture to assert. The days when 
the Knights of St. John were content to expend their 
energies and pour out their hearts' blood in the defence 
of their faith, without regard to worldly acquisitions, 
and the amount of booty their warfare would produce, 
had long since passed away. Now they no more 
sought, in open field, and by well-directed energy, to 
crush the foe against whom their profession engaged 
them to maintain a constant warfare ; but, looking 
rather to their personal enrichment than the public ad- 
vantage, they strove, by means of such isolated and 
plundering exploits as those referred to above, to gain 
for their convent and themselves a plentiful store of 
booty, and a rich reward for their privateering efforts. 

Enraged at these repeated aggressions, the Turks en- 
deavoured, in their turn, to carry the war into the 
enemy's country j and, in 1615, they made a descent 


upon Malta, with sixty galleys, and disembarked 6000 
men upon the island. Due precautions had, however, 
been taken by the inhabitants, who all retreated into 
the town upon the approach of the foe ; and the Turks 
gained nothing by their attempt, being driven igno- 
miniously back into their ships by the forces of the fra- 

The rule of Vignacourt, like those of his predecessors, 
was disturbed by the pretensions of the bishop of Malta. 
This ecclesiastic, whose name was Cagliares, having 
during one of his numerous disputes with the Grand- 
Master and council had recourse to a personal visit 
to Rome, to enforce his pretensions, a deputy was ap- 
pointed by him to maintain the interests of his see 
during his absence. The arrogance of this deputy far 
exceeded even that of his principal ; and the more 
youthful and hot-headed amongst the Knights were 
unable to restrain their indignation at the intolerable 
assumption of his conduct. A band of these malcon- 
tents attacked the bishop's palace by night, threatening 
to throw the oflTending functionary into the Marsa 
Musceit ; and it was with no little difficulty that De 
Vignacourt was enabled to rescue him out of their 
hands. He despatched the obnoxious priest to the 
Pope, with a complaint of his conduct, and a request 
that he might be subjected to due reproof; but Paul V., 
who was bent upon supporting the clergy in their pre- 
tensions against the Grand-Master, took a very high 
tone in the matter, and so far from yielding to the 
request which De Vignacourt had preferred, he ac- 
quitted the bishop's nominee of all blame, and called 
upon the Grand- Master and council, under pain of his 
anathema, to make due reparation for the indignities to 

z 3 



which he had been subjected. Resistance was totally 
in vain, and Vignacourt was compelled to submit to 
this new degradation, and to restore the insolent church- 
man to his position and dignities within the convent. 
Similar scenes occurred with the grand-inquisitor, and 
the incessant disputes which originated with these rival 
dignitaries, rendered the office of Grand-Master by no 
means a bed of roses. 

The name of Vignacourt has, in Malta, become in- 
separably connected with the aqueduct which he caused 
to be constructed in that island. Destitute as the cities 
of Valetta and Vittoriosa are of all natural springs, the 
inhabitants were, before Vignacourt's time, compelled 
to depend for their water supply entirely upon tanks, 
and, in the event of a dry winter, were sorely distressed 
during the following summer. To obviate this evil, and 
to prevent for the future all further distress on the 
score of water, Vignacourt constructed a very fine 
aqueduct, connecting the city of Valetta with a spring 
of water in the Bengemma hills, in the vicinity of the 
Gittk Notabile. This aqueduct, which is upwards of 
nine miles in length, carries the water into every part 
of the city, and supplies the fountains which succeeding 
Grand-Masters have caused to be erected in different 
convenient situations. A worthier monument this, and 
a nobler memorial, than the proudest trophy of war, or 
the most costly sculptured tomb. The gratitude of 
posterity will recall the memory of Vignacourt, so long 
as Valetta exists, as the founder of one of the most 
useful and enduring works which that city possesses.* 

• Tlie following account of the reception of Alexandre Monsieur, 
natural son of Henry IV. of France, by Gabrielle d'Estrees, into the 


The same fate attended this Grand-Master as that 
which befell La Valette ; and he was seized with an 
attack of apoplexy whilst hunting, in the month of 
August 1622, and died on the 14th of September iix 

Order, on the 2nd of February, 1604, is extracted from Miss Pardoe's 
" Life of Marie de Medicis : " — 

" The king having decided that such should be tlie career of the 
young prince, was anxious that he should at once assume the name 
and habit of the Order ; and he accordingly wrote to the Grand- 
Master to request that he would despatch the necessary patents, which 
were forwarded without delay, accompanied by the most profuse 
acknowledgments of that dignitary. In order to increase the solem- 
nity and magnificence of the inauguration, Henry summoned to the 
capital the grand-commanders (qy. priors) both of France and Cham- 
pagne, instructing them to bring in their respective trains as many 
other commanders and Knights as could be induced to accompany 
them ; and he selected as the scene of the ceremony the church of the 
Augustines ; an arrangement which was, however, abandoned at the 
entreaty of the Commander de Villeneuf, the ambassador of the 
Order, who deemed it more dignified that it should take place in that 
of the Temple, which was one of their principal establishments. At 
the hour indicated the two sovereigns accordingly drove to the Temple 
in the same carriage, Alexandre Monsieur being seated between them; 
and on alighting at the principal entrance of the edifice, the king 
delivered the little prince into the hands of the grand-prior, who was 
there awaiting him, attended by twelve commanders and twelve 
Knights, by whom he was conducted up the centre aisle. The church 
was magnificently ornamented ; and the altar, which blazed with 
gold and jewels, was already surrounded by the Cardinal de Gondy, 
the papal nuncio^ and a score of bishops, all attired in their splendid 
sacerdotal vestments. In the centre of the choir a throne had been 
erected for their majesties, covered with cloth of gold ; and around 
the chairs of state were grouped the princes, princesses, and other 
grandees of the court, including the ambassadors of Spain and Venice, 
the constable, Duke de Montmorency, the chancellor, the seven pre- 
sidents of the parliament, and the Knights of the Order of the Holy 

'* The coup d'oeil was one of most extraordinary splendour. The 

z 4 



that year, at the age of seventy-five. His successor, 
Louis Mendes de Vasconcellas, survived his election 
only six months, having been nearly eighty years of 

whole of the sacred edifice was brilliantly illuminated by the innu- 
merable tapers which lit up the several shrines, and which, casting 
their clear light upon every surrounding object, brought into full 
relief the dazzling gems and gleaming weapons that glittered on all 
sides. The organ pealed out its deepest and most impressive har- 
mony ; and not a sound was heard throughout the vast building as 
the grand-prior, with his train of Knights and nobles, led the youthful 
neophyte to the place assigned to him. The ceremony commenced 
by the consecration of the sword and the change of raiment, which 
typified that about to take place in the duties of the prince by an 
entrance into an Order which enjoined alike godliness and virtue. 
The mantle was withdrawn from his shoulders, and his outer garment 
removed by the Knights who stood immediately around him ; after 
which he was presented alternately with a vest of white satin, elabo- 
rately embroidered in gold and silver, having the sleeves enriched 
with pearls ; a waist belt studded with jewels ; a cap of black velvet, 
ornamented with a small white plume, and a band of large pearls ; 
and a tunic of black taffeta. In this costume the prince was con- 
ducted to the high altar by the Duke and Duchess of Venddme, fol- 
lowed by a commander to assist him during the ceremony ; and thej 
had no sooner taken their places, than A.rnaud do Sorbin, bishop o 
Nevers, delivered a short oration, eulogistic of the greatness and 
excellence of the brotherhood of which he was about to become a 
member. The same prelate then performed a solemn high mass ; and 
when he had terminated the reading of the gospel, Alexander Mon- 
sieur knelt before him, with a taper of white wax in his hand, to 
solicit admission to the Order. He had no sooner bent his knee than 
the king rose, descended the steps of the throne, and placed himself 
by his side, saying aloud that he put off for awhile bis sovereign 
dignity that he might perform his duty as a parent, by pledging him- 
self that when the prince should have attained his sixteenth year he 
should take the vows, and in all things conform himself to the rules 
of the institution. The procession then passed out of the church in 
the same order as it had entered ; and the young prince was imme- 
diately put into possession of the income arising from his commandery, 
which was estimated at 40,000 annual livres." 


age at the time of his nomination. It appears about 
this time to have been the practice of the fraternity to 
elect none but the most aged Knights to the supreme 
dignity, with a view to the post becoming again the 
more rapidly vacant. A more suicidal policy for their 
own interests could scarcely be conceived. Old men, 
worn out by a long life of excitement and enterprise, 
could scarcely be expected to retain sufficient energy to 
enable them to conduct, with prudence and skill, a 
government fraught with so many difficulties, both from 
within and without, as that of Malta. Where inflexible 
determination and vigorous promptitude in action were 
the essential requisites to a successful government, these 
decrepit and enfeebled veterans, sinking almost into their 
dotage, were utterly incapacitated ; and it is mainly 
owing to this fact that the power of the Grand-Master, 
and the vitality of the Order itself, suffered so rapid 
and marked a diminution. 

In pursuance of the same short-siglited policy, Vas- 
concellas was replaced, in 1623, by Anthony de Paule, 
grand-prior of St. Gilles ; a Knight aged seventy-one 
at the time of his election. De Panic's rule is marked 
in the annals of the Order as celebrated, because in it 
the last general chapter was held which was convened, 
until the latter end of the eighteenth century. The 
unpopularity of these great councils had been con- 
stantly augmenting, and the difficulty of maintaining 
the magisterial authority within their jurisdiction so 
great, that no Grand- Master after De Paule ventured to 
summon into existence a council where he himself had 
so little weight and influence. Upon this occasion, the 
Pope had insisted that the Inquisitor should take his 
seat as president of the chapter. De Paule and his 


council remonstrated that it was diametrically opposed 
to the constitution of their Order that a stranger should 
assume the title and dignity of president in their chief 
assembly ; and that the community at large would 
never tolerate the intrusion. The Pope, however, was 
obstinate, and insisted upon his appointment being 
acquiesced in. The aged Grand-Master, who had not 
sufficient energy to support him in a broil with the 
court of Rome, yielded the point without further re- 
monstrance; and, as it was highly probable that the 
younger members would, by more open measures, resent 
the intrusion thus forced upon them, he sent the great 
majority out of the island on a cruise, and held the 
chapter during their absence. 

The statutes of the Order were all revised during 
this session ; and, as it was the last that was held till 
near the close of the eighteenth century, the laws thus 
amended remained the code in force up to the period 
of its dissolution. 

Much dissatisfaction was caused by the repeated in- 
terference of the pontiff with the patronage belonging 
to the Order in the language qf Italy. Vacancies were 
constantly bestowed by him on his own relatives and 
dependents, without the slightest regard to the claims 
of seniority or the wishes of the council; and the 
Italian Knights became so discontented at this glaring 
misappropriation of their just rights, that they broke 
out into open mutiny, and refused to perform any of 
the duties of their profession, or to take their turn of 
military duty, on the plea of the injury which was 
being inflicted on their interests. Many abandoned 
Malta entirely, and, returning to their homes, threw off 
the habit of the Order in disgust. Redress was sought 


for in vain, and the Grand- Master was forced to submit 
to the usurpation thus made upon his most valued im- 
munities and privileges. 

Throughout his reign expeditions, similar in cha- 
racter to those organised under Vignacourt, constantly 
took place. Useless for all national purposes, and par- 
taking largely of a piratical character in their mode of 
conduct, they served only to irritate the Turks, without 
in the slightest degree enfeebling their power. The 
Knights of Malta were fast degenerating into a race 
very similar in character and pursuits to the piratical 
hordes who swarmed within the harbours of Algiers 
and Tunis ; and their departure from the noble and dis- 
interested conduct of their predecessors was painfully 
apparent in every detail of their administration. The 
worldly prosperity, however, of those over whom they 
held sway was materially increased ; and the influx of 
wealth, consequent on the many rich prizes which they 
annually seized, had raised the island of Malta to a 
position of opulence and commercial importance, such 
as for centuries she had been a stranger to. In the 
year 1632 a census was held of her population, and 
the numbers then recorded as present in the island 
amounted to 61,750 souls. When L'Isle Adam, a 
hundred years previously, had first established his con- 
vent home there, the population barely exceeded 17,000. 
They had consequently nearly tripled themselves within 
a century, beneath the flourishing sway of the Order of 
St. John, notwithstanding that they had during that 
interval undergone the fearful losses entailed by the 
siege under La Valette. 

Antoine de Paule died on the 10th of June 1636, at 
the advanced age of eighty-five years, and in accordance 



with the policy already alluded to, he was succeeded by 
a Knight aged seventy-six years at the time of his 
appointment. This was John Paul de Lascaris Castellar, 
a Knight of Provence, and bailiff of Manosque at the 
time of his elevation to the supreme dignity. It was 
not long ere he discovered that he had exchanged a 
very lucrative and dignified sinecure for an office which 
was by no means equally desirable. 

A fierce war was at this time raging between the 
monarchs of France and Spain ; and many Knights of 
both countries, contrary to the express terms of their 
statutes, took part in the struggle. The French element, 
from its number, naturally preponderated greatly in the 
convent, and the sympathies of the Order leant visibly 
towards that country. In revenge for this partiality, 
the viceroy of Sicily, espousing the interests of his 
master the king of Spain, forbad the exportation of 
grain to Malta. As that island was almost entirely 
dependent on Sicily for its supply of provisions, this 
prohibition inflicted all the evils of positive starvation 
upon it, and the Grand-Master was driven to mollify 
the offended Spaniard by a strict enforcement of neutra- 
lity between the belligerent powers. In pursuance of 
this resolve, he caused a French vessel of war to be 
fired upon, which being commanded by one of his 
Knights, had ventured to anchor in the channel between 
Malta and Gozo. Pacified by this act, the viceroy 
removed his embargo on the exportation of corn ; but, 
on the other hand, the king of France was so irritated 
at the open insult shown to his flag, that he prepared to 
seize all the possessions of the Order in France, and 
to annex them to his crown domains. Fortunately, 
Lascaris was enabled to make such explanations in the 


case as proved to the kiug that lie had only acted in the 
manner to which he was bound by his statutes, and the 
treaty under which he held Malta, and the aflFair was 
at length accommodated, and himself and convent left 
at peace. 

In 1538, an action was fought between the six galleys 
of the Order and a Turkish fleet of three large vessels 
of war, which were engaged in convoying a number of 
merchant ships from Tripoli to Constantinopl6. In this 
engagement the Knights were completely successful, 
and captured the whole Turkish flotilla, including their 
convoying ships ; not, however, without the loss of many 
of their most distinguished captains. In 1640, six 
Barhary pirates were captured from the harbour of 
Goletta by the general of the galleys; and in 1644, 
three galleys under Piancourt overcame a large and 
formidable galleon after a most desperate conflict. In 
this affair the Turks lost 600 men, and amongst the 
captives was a sultana from the imperial seraglio, who 
was then on a pilgrimage to Mecca. This loss so 
incensed the sultan, that he despatched a herald to 
Malta, threatening instant war. 

Lascaris, upon this, took prompt measures to ensure 
the security of his island. Knights were summoned 
from all quarters to assist in the defence, and volunteers 
in great numbers flocked to the island, anxious to share 
in the renown of a second siege of Malta. Amongst 
these was the Count D'Arpajou, who brought at his 
own expense a reinforcement of no less than 2000 men. 
The Order were so grateful for this munificent aid, that 
they unceremoniously elected the count commander-in- 
chief over all the forces in the island, a post hitherto 
always held by the grand-marshal. The alarm of in- 



vasion having proved vain, the Grand-Master, at the 
departure of D'Arpajou, conferred several honorary 
decorations on himself and his descendants in com- 
memoration of his zeal for their welfare. 

The naval war with Turkey was, however, by no 
means suspended ; for the Turks having turned their 
forces against the Venetian island of Candia, the galleys 
of Malta hurried promptly to their succour. Naval 
combats constantly occurred, in which the superiority 
of the Knights over their opponents was usually very 
decided. In 1656, an engagement of greater importance 
than usual took place between the combined fleets of 
Venice and Malta on the one side, and that of the 
Turks on the other. In a cotemporary newspaper, 
called the " Mercurius Politicus," published in London, 
there is the following graphic account of this action, 
which may be regarded as a type of most of those 
about this period, of constant occurrence between the 
rival fleets. It runs as follows : — 

" London, September 1656 : from Venice, August 15 
stili novo. — The particulars of our last victory are now 
brought hither by the Sieur Lazaro Mocenigo, who 
entred here on the Ist of this month, in a Turkish 
galley which was taken from those Infidels, and all the 
men in her had turbans on their heads. At his arrivall 
the people declared an extraordinary joy. All the 
shops were shut up, and the duke, accompanied by the 
senators, went and sang Te Deum, and the ringing of 
bells continued till next day in all churches. On the 
third day, a solemn mass was celebrated by the duke 
and senators in the church of St. Marke, where all the 
ambassadors of princes were present. And that the 
rejoycing might extend to the very prisons, the senate 


took order for the releasing of all persons imprisoned 
for debt, and some of the banditi were also set at 

*' In the meantime the said Sieur Mocenigo, who had 
contributed so much of prudence and courage to the 
gaining of this victory, had first the honor of knighthood 
conferred on him by the senate, with a chain of gold 
2000 crownes value, and then was declared gene- 
rallissimo, in the room of the late slain Lorenzo 
Marcello, in memory of whom it is ordered there be a 
publick service celebrated next week at the publick 

" Now that so renowned a victory may in some 
measure be known, take the following relation : — 

" A 'particular relation of the manner of the late victory 
obtained by the Venetians against the Turk. 

" After the Venetian fleet had made a month's stay 
at the mouth of the Dardanelles, to wait for and fight 
the enemy, in the meanewhilc arived the squadron of 
Malta, which consisted of seven galleys. On the 23rd 
of June last past, the Captain Bassa appeared in sight 
of the castles, his fleet consisted of twenty-eight great 
ships, sixty galleys, nine galeasses, and other small 

" The navy of the republick was composed of twenty- 
eight great ships, twenty-four galleys, and seven 
galeasses, to which joyned (as was said before) the 
galleys of Malta, commanded by the lord prior of 
Koccelia. The navy of the republick kept in the 
narrowest part of ^;he channel, so that the Turks could 
not come forth without accepting the battel which was 

'^ At the beginning, the Captain Bassa raised two 


batteries upon land on both sides the river, the one on 
the part of Natolia, the other on the part of Grecia, 
thinking thereby to oblige our ships and galeasses to 
forsake their station, and so facilitate their own going 
forth. The courage of the Venetian, resisting their 
shot with undaunted boldness, rendered the advantage 
they had taken unprofitable; whereupon the Captain 
Bassa, who had express order to attempt going out, 
upon the 26th of the same month, in the morning, 
favoured with a pleasant north wind, made all his 
greatest ships to advance in good order, but (whether 
they durst not expose themselves, or for what other 
reason, is not known) they withdrew behind the point 
of Barbiera, and thither also the Captain Bassa repaired 
with his galleys. 

" About ten of the clock it pleased God to send a small 
north-west wind, which occasioned the Venetian navy to 
move ; and the honorable Eleazer Mocenigo (who 
having finished the charge of a captain of a galley, 
would needs continue with the fleet as a volunteer, and 
commanded the left wing) found means to advance with 
* The Sultana of St. Marke,' wherein he was, and passing 
beyond the Turkish fleet, endeavoured to hinder its 
retreat, keeping the mouth of the channel, and fighting 

" The battel being thus begun, the captain-general, 
Laurence Marcello, accompanied with the general of 
Malta, came up, intermingling with the rest of the 
Venetian commanders and vessels, fell to it pel mel. 
After the Turks had used their utmost endeavour to 
avoid the fight, being hemmed in by the Venetian fleet, 
and having no place left to escape, they were forced to 
fight with the more eagerness because they had lost all 


hope of making a retreat, and so commended their safety 
to the conflict, whereby they gave means to the Vene- 
tians the more to exalt their triumph and glory over 
their enemies, all the enemy being totally routed by the 
sword, by fire, and by water, the Captain Bassa only 
saving himself with fourteen galleys, which hath 
crowned the republick with one of the greatest victories 
that ever was heard of in former times. 

" The number of the enemies' dead cannot be known 
nor discovered among so many ships and galleys taken 
and consumed by fire and water ; about the shore there 
were seen huge heaps of dead bodies, and in the bay of 
a certain little valley there appeared so great a quantity 
of carcases that it caused horror in the beholders. 

" The number of Christian slaves freed on this occa- 
sion is near upon five thousand. That of the Venetians' 
men killed and wounded doth not amount to three 
hundered, which makes the victory memorable to all 

" The battel lasted from ten a clock in the morning 
until night ; but the burning of the greatest part of the 
enemies' fleet continued for two daies and two nights ; 
on the first whereof the Venetians were forced to main- 
taine the fight, to subdue some Turkish vessels which 
stood out upon defence. 

" The Venetians having reserved some of the enemies' 
ships of all sorts in memory of the successe, besides 
eleven which those of Malta had taken, it was resolved 
upon by the Venetian commanders to burn the rest, to 
free themselves from the trouble of sailing with so nu- 
merous a fleet, and to keep their owne in readiness for 
all attempts. 

" Three Venetian ships were burnt, two in the fight 



and one by some other accident which is not well 
known, and their fleet received no other damage. 

" The onely thing to be deplored in this successe was 
the losse of the Captain-Generall Marcello, who was killed 
with a cannon-shot, and four men more who were next to 
him, after that with his own galley he had subdued a 
potent sultana, and (by the grace of God) seen the Turk- 
ish fleet in confusion, dispersed, defeated, and by con- 
sequence the great victory secured, and her upon the 
point of surprising another sultana. His soule hath re- 
ceived her reward in heaven, and his name will live with 
perpetuall glory in the memory of the world. 

" Eleazer Moccenino by a new musquet-shot lost one 
of his eies, as he at first was attempting to prevent the 
Turks' passage, notwithstanding which hee never failed 
to doe great things the whole time of the conflict. 

" The valour, courage, and magnanimity wherewith 
all the Venetians and Malteses did behave themselves on 
this occasion may better be understood by the action 
than by discourse." 

No action of greater importance than this had oc- 
curred since the memorable day of Lepanto, and the 
Maltese galleys, although not numerous, appear to have 
nobly done their duty on the occasion, as the eleven 
vessels captured by them and borne ofi^ in triumph to 
Malta, amply testify. Whilst these maritime successes 
were attesting the naval superiority of the Order of St. 
John, and increasing the renown in which they were 
held throughout Europe, their convent still remained 
the scene of acrimonious dispute and internal discord. 
The inquisitor, the bishop of Malta, and the Jesuits, all 
sought their own advancement at the sacrifice of the 
authority of their common sovereign the Grand-Master. 


In order to withdraw from their allegiance as many of 
the inhabitants as possible,the bishop was in the practice 
of " granting the tonsure " to any person who demanded 
that distinction. By this mark, and without adopting in 
any other way the functions of the clergy, they claimed 
exemption from all other authority than that of the 
ecclesiastical body, the superintendence of which was 
vested in the bishop. They secured immunity from all 
the imposts and duties to which the laity were liable, 
and their position became so favourable with respect to 
their fellow-subjects, that they flocked in vast num- 
bers to the bishop, for reception into the favoured band. 

Had this state of things been suffered to continue, 
the Grand-Master would eventually have found himself 
completely denuded of all power in the island of which he 
was nominally the sovereign ; and he remonstrated with 
the Pope upon so outrageous an assumption on the part 
of his subordinate. Urban VIII., who was at that time 
pontiflF, could not deny the justice of Lascaris' complaint, 
and he issued instructions to the bishop, to forbid him 
from granting in future the privileges of the tonsure 
to any but such as were bond fide ecclesiastics. The 
embroilment with the Jesuits had likewise gradually 
culminated to an open breach, in consequence of the arro- 
gance and grasping ambition which had rendered them 
odious to the members of the institution. The quarrel 
which led to their expulsion originated in the frolic of 
some young Knights, who, during the carnival of 1639, 
disguised themselves in the habit of Jesuits, and in that 
garb were guilty of many scandals and disorders in the 

The reverend fathers, highly irate at this open profa- 
nation of their distinguishing costume, complained 

A ▲ 2 



bitterly to the Grand-Master and council, who caused 
the oflFending members to be arrested and lodged in 
prison. The public feeling had gradually become so 
excited against the disciples of Loyola, that this whole- 
some act of severity, just and necessary though it was, 
was very ill received, and a tumult arose, in the course 
of which the prison was broken open, the culprits 
released, and the Jesuits' college pillaged and ravaged 
from top to bottom. The insurgents were so exasper- 
ated, and possessed so great power from their numbers 
within the island, that the expulsion of the Jesuits was 
decreed, and with the exception of four, who contrived 
to conceal themselves, the remainder were compelled to 
leave the island. This relief was, however, but tempo- 
rary, and it was not long before the reverend brethren 
once more returned to the scenes of their former domi- 

Meanwhile the Pope, who doubtless considered he 
had secured the eternal gratitude of the fraternity by 
his prohibition to the bishop, demanded the assistance of 
the Maltese galleys in a war in which he was engaged 
against several of the minor Italian princes, who had 
formed a league against his aggressions. To this request 
Lascaris and his council were weak enough to accede, 
directly opposed, though it was, to the fundamental 
principles of their institution. The princes, justly irri- 
tated at this breach of neutrality on the part of the 
Order, confiscated their possessions in their respective 
territories, nor did they withdraw the embargo till ample 
satisfaction and apology had been tendered. 

Whilst thus engaged in political disputes which 
materially affected the prosperity of his Order, Lascaris 
did not neglect the internal improvement of his convent, 



and the island over which he ruled. The new city of 
Valetta was, as has already been stated, protected by a 
line of ramparts on the land side, enclosing the city, 
and cutting off the lower portion of the peninsula of 
Mount Sceberras from the main land. Not, however, 
deeming this single line of works a sufficient defence on 
the land side, the only point from which an attack was 
to be feared, Lascaris engaged an eminent Italian en- 
gineer named Florian, to construct an advanced front, 
which should yield an additional protection to the weak 

This work, which was commenced under Lascaris, 
was not completed till the year 1721, and the suburb 
which it encloses has received the name of Floriana, after 
that of the engineer who superintended and designed the 
work. Florian was admitted into the Order by Lascaris, 
as a reward for the zeal and talent which he had dis- 

Malta was also indebted to this Grand- Master for the 
magnificent public library which he established in 1650, 
and which gradually increased until it attained propor- 
tions exceeded by but few of the public libraries of 
Europe. This rapid augmentation was the result of a 
very wise decree, that at a Knight's death his books 
should not be sold with the rest of his property for the 
benefit of the treasury, but should be forwarded to the 
public library to swell its extent, or in the case of 
duplicate copies, to be exchanged for some other work. 

In 1652 the Order of St. John, for the first time, 
obtained possession of property in the new hemisphere. 
A Knight named Poincy, who had established himself 
in the island of St. Kitt's, as commandant for a com* 

* Vide Appendix No. 19. 
A A 3 


358 A raSTORY OF 

pany of merchants, who held the island under a grant 
from the crown of France, persuaded the Grand- Master 
and council to make a purchase of the island, which he 
represented as capable of adding materially to the wealth 
of the treasury. The cost of this purchase amounted to 
5000/., in virtue of which payment the Order was inves- 
ted w'lth all the property contained in the island, inclu- 
dirg slaves, provisions, and stores ; and the transfer was 
confirmed by letters patent from the king of France, 
Louis XIV. De Poincy was appointed to the superin- 
tendence of this property, which was raised to the rank of 
a bailiwick, and efforts were made to secure the islands 
of Martinique and Guadaloupe upon similar terms, but 
without success. 

The results which De Poincy had foretold were 
never realised ; the treasury received no return for the 
outlay which had been made ; and when, ten years later, 
the new bailiff died, it was found that the debts which 
he had incurred in carrying on the government of the 
island, amounted to nearly as much as the entire value 
of the property. They, therefore, hastened to disem- 
burthen themselves of an acquisition rich in nothing but 
debt and embarrassments ; and the unfortunate specula- 
tion was brought to a close by a sale, which was effected 
in 1665, to a company of French merchants, under whose 
hands the plantations became a far more lucrative invest- 
ment. It must, indeed, seem strange to the modem 
reader to learn that two hundred years since, the island 
of St. Kitt's was purchased for 5000Z., and was, moreover, 
discovered to be a losing speculation at that price. At 
the present time, even allowing for the depreciation in 
the value of property in the West Indies, it might be 
expected to realise at least one hundred times the amount 


paid for it by the Knights of St. John, Such specula- 
tions were never in accordance with the principles of 
their institution, and it would by no means have reflected 
credit on them, had they degenerated into a mercantile 
association, increasing their revenues by a traffic ex- 
tracted from the produce of a West Indian plantation. 
The degeneracy of the Order had caused a decline in 
the general estimation in which they were held, suffi- 
ciently marked, without any further downward impulse 
being given by their assumption of a character so unsuited 
to their chivalric association. They therefore may be 
considered to have acted far more judiciously in the 
sale of 1665, than in the original purchase of 1652. 

That event, however, was not the act of Lascaris, 
who died on the 14th of August 1657, at the extra- 
ordinary age of ninety-seven years. His end had been 
so long anticipated, that cabals and intrigues without 
number had been set on foot with respect to his suc- 
cessor. On the one hand appeared the prior of Navarre, 
Martin de Redin, who had exerted such influence in 
the convent as to have secured a very large party in his 
own favour ; whilst in strong opposition to him was the 
grand-inquisitor Odi, who cherished an inveterate an- 
tipathy to the Spanish Knight, and sought by every 
means in his power to thwart him in his designs. 
Redin had been recently appointed viceroy of Sicily 
by the king of Spain, and was absent in the seat of his 
government at the moment when Lascaris breathed his 
last. His party, however, within the convent were too 
powerful for the inquisitor to resist, although he made 
every effort for that purpose. He had even secured 
from the pontiff a brief, in which his holiness declared 
that any Knight who had been guilty of having either 

A A 4 


canvassed or bribed, or who had employed promises or 
threats to secure his election, should be ineligible for 
the post of Grand-Master. In pursuance of this decree, 
he denounced Martin Redin and proclaimed to the 
council of election that he was, from his various mal- 
practices and simony, excluded from competition for the 
vacant dignity. The electors disregarded this notifi- 
cation, and were probably not averse to taking the 
opportunity of proving to the inquisitor, whose dicta- 
torial interference in the government had long been 
most distasteful, that his remonstrances were unheeded. 
Redin was duly proclaimed Grand-Master, and Odi, 
having vainly protested against the election, appealed, 
as a last resource, to the Pope. The Grand-Master did 
the same, and mollified his holiness by expressing his 
perfect readiness to resign his office if he were per- 
sonally obnoxious to the court of Rome. 

The Pope was, however, far too politic to proceed to 
extremities against a Knight who so strongly possessed 
the favour of the powerful king of Spain as to have been 
by him nominated his viceroy in the kingdom of Sicily. 
He, therefore, confirmed the election, recognised Redin 
as the legitimate chief of the Order of St. John, and 
completed the mortification of the inquisitor by re- 
quiring him to be the personal herald of his own dis- 
comfiture, and directed him to announce, both to the 
Grand-Master and council, the papal acquiescence in 
the nomination which had been made. Whether Redin 
had made use of any underhand influence at the court 
of Rome to secure his election is unknown, but it is 
very certain that he was not ungrateful to the Pope for 
his ratification of the choice of the convent ; for he 
shortly afterwards nominated the Prior de Bichi, the 


Pope's favourite nephew, to one of the richest com- 
manderies in the Italian language, in open violation of 
the rights of seniority, and further presented him with 
a diamond cross of the value of 1200 crowns. Nor 
did he stop here, for, during his brief rule, he con- 
tinued to provide for various members of the pontiff's 
family to the detriment of older and more worthy can- 
didates. It may, therefore, well be credited that the 
accusations originally preferred against him by the in- 
quisitor were, in all probability, but too well founded. 

He did not remain long in his government, nor were 
his immediate successors more fortunate, several changes 
occurring during a very brief space. Redin died in the 
early part of 1660, and was followed by Annet de Cler- 
mont, bailiff of Lyons, who only enjoyed his position 
for three months, when he also died from the effects of 
a wound which he had received at the capture of Ma- 
hometa during his younger days, and which opened 
afresh at this period. He was in his turn replaced by 
Raphael Cottoner, bailiff of Majorca, who swayed the 
baton of his Order for three years, dying in 1663, at 
the age of sixty-three years, having, during his brief 
administration, endeared himself with all classes of his 

He was succeeded by his brother, Nicholas Cottoner, 
who had attained the office of bailiff of Majorca when 
it had been vacated by his brother, and now replaced 
him in the supreme dignity. Only once before in the 
annals of the Order had two brothers been nominated 
in succession to the Grand-Mastership, the two Villarets 
having attained to that honour. On the present occa- 
sion the pre-eminent virtues of the noble brothers Cot- 
toner amply justified the honours which were conferred 


upon them. A century had now elapsed since Europe 
had rung with acclaim at the brilliant defence the Order 
had made in their island stronghold of Malta, the last 
effort of their palmy days. Since then their decline 
had been sensible and rapid, so that, in 1663, Nicholas 
Cottoner found himself ruling over a fraternity whose 
internal organisation and general position in public esti- 
mation was widely different from what it had been 
during the days of La Valette. 

The history of a nation will always be found strongly 
to resemble the life of an individual. We have the 
early struggles of youth when it first emerges from the 
feebleness of childhood and only becomes gradually con- 
scious of its own increasing strength. Then the first 
flush of manhood, with all the eager excitement of hope 
and the prospect of a brilliant future. This again is 
followed by the vigour and determination which marks 
the prime of life, rejoicing in all the pride of ambition 
gratified and position attained. From this point com- 
mences the decline both of man and people. At first 
the degeneracy appears but slight, and only here and 
there are apparent traces which show that Time, the 
destroyer of all earthly things, is working his will. As 
years roll on these symptoms become more marked, un- 
til at length the fact can no longer be disguised that a 
great change has been wrought, and that old age is 
approaching. Still, ever and anon appear flashes of the 
old spirit, marking the soul which once had burned 
within the enfeebled frame, but these evanescent returns 
of pristine vigour become gradually less and less dis- 
tinct, until at length all is merged in the helpless idiocy 
of second childhood. It is very painful to mark this 
blighting change in the career of those whom God has 


gifted with pre-eminence in this mortal stage, and well 
is it for the memory of a great man when he is called 
away before time has had an opportunity of laying his 
effacing fingers upon that which has gained the admi- 
ration and homage of mankind. Who is there that 
cannot recall instances in the history of every nation 
where men have, in the decay of old age, become strik- 
ing exemplifications of this sad fact ? Nor is it less 
apparent in the career of the nations themselves. We 
have traced the history of the Order of St. John 
throughout its brilliant and promising youth in Pales- 
tine. The vigour of manhood in its prime and strength 
was to be witnessed during its residence at Rhodes, and 
the siege of Malta marks the epoch when that prime 
had reached its highest point. We have traced the 
descent, at first gradual, but afterwards more rapid, in 
the century which succeeded that event, and we have 
now arrived at a period when only rare and intermittent 
flashes appear to testify to the remains of that heroic 
spirit which animated the first brethren of the Hospital. 
One of the last, and certainly the most glorious, feat 
of arms in which the Knights of Malta were engaged, 
was the defence of Candia. It has already been men- 
tioned that in the year 1644, the galleys of the Order 
captured a galleon, in which was a sultana of the im- 
perial harem and her infant son. The prize was taken 
into the port of Candia, where the young mother, who 
had left Constantinople on a pilgrimage to Mecca, died 
from the effects of a slow poison, administered to her 
before her departure by one of the rival beauties of the 
serail. The child was brought to Malta, where he was 
tenderly nurtured by the Grand-Master Lascaris and 
educated in the Christian religion. He eventually took 


364 A mSTOBY OF 

holy orders and became a Dominican friar under the 
name of Father Ottoman. After a life spent in travel- 
ling throughout Europe, he returned to Malta as prior 
of Porto Salvo, and died there in 1676. 

The capture of his sultana had caused Ibrahim the 
most lively indignation, and he had menaced the most 
speedy vengeance upon the island of Malta. His 
-wrath, however, was diverted against Candia, princi- 
pally, as the Venetians asserted, on account of the 
shelter which she had yielded to the Knights and their 
prize. Whatever may have been the immediate subject 
of quarrel, the Venetians and the Turks had ever held 
the most unfriendly relations towards each other, and 
it required but a spark at any moment to kindle the 
bitterest war between them. Certain it is that before 
the close of 1644, the island had been invaded by a 
Turkish force, and that from that moment the war 
between the rival powers had raged with unceasing 
animosity on that spot. The Knights rendered the 
most loyal assistance to the Venetians in this strife, as 
by their profession they were indubitably bound to do ; 
and if, as is alleged, it was by an act of theirs that the 
horrors of war were brought down upon the unfor- 
tunate island, they were doubly bound to aid in the 

Throughout the remainder of the rule of Lascaris, 
as also through those of his three successors, the war 
continued to rage and the chiefs of the Hospital main- 
tained their support both by sea and by land. The 
Turks had, however, gradually attained the upper hand, 
and when, in 1663, Nicholas Cottoner assumed the dig- 
nity vacant by the death of his brother Raphael, the 
defence of Candia had commenced to assume a most 



unfavourable aspect. He nevertheless continued to 
afford such aid as lay within his power. The as- 
sistance which his predecessors had afforded during the 
lengthened struggle had been gratefully acknowledged 
by the doges of Venice. We have a letter from Bar- 
tuccio Valeric, the then doge, dated on the 9th of De- 
cember, 1656, addressed to the Grand-Master Lascaris, 
in which he implores the Order to continue their usual 
aid to withstand the attacks of the Turks on the island 
of Candia, which were becoming more fierce and unre- 
lenting than ever, knowing well that the extremity of 
the peril would be an additional inducement to the noble 
Knights of Malta, to endeavour both by sea and land to 
gain back what had been lost, not only owing to their own 
thirst for glory, but also from their zeal for the general 
interests of Christianity. Another letter was addressed 
to Raphael Cottoner, in 1661, by the doge Dominico 
Contarini, in which he states that in that protracted 
war the sacred cross of Malta has ever been ready and 
faithful under all circumstances to the standard of St. 
Mark, and that the Venetian republic will not be slow 
in expressing her gratitude for the brilliant and glorious 
deeds of the Order, which are worthy of the sincerest 
esteem and love. 

The closing action of the war was the siege of the 
capital, which withstood for twenty-seven months the 
efforts of the Turks. Irritated at the protracted dura- 
tion of the war, the grand-vizier Achmet had in person 
led a numerous army against the island and commenced 
the siege of the town of Candia. Assistance was, in 
this crisis, rendered by almost every nation in Europe. 
Reinforcements poured into the city from all quarters, 
and amongst others a body of sixty Knights and three 


hundred men arrived from Malta. The defence of this 
town was for a period of twenty-seven months pro- 
tracted with an obstinacy and determination that gained 
for it a celebrity fully equal to that of Malta, although 
it was not destined to meet with so prosperous a ter- 
mination. Step by step the Turk advanced and won his 
way past the more advanced of the bulwarks. The 
effusion of blood on both sides was fearful, but the 
superiority of the besiegers in men and materiel enabled 
them to secure the advantage. At length it was re- 
solved by a desperate sally to endeavour to turn the 
fortune of the struggle. The Duke de Noailles, who 
was in command of the French contingent, under- 
took this operation, but expressly stipulated that none 
but Frenchmen should be concerned in the attack. 
This sally was effected in the middle of August 1669, 
and failed completely. The French were driven back 
into the town with great slaughter, the Duke de No- 
ailles was wounded, and his second in command, the 
Duke of Beaufort, killed. The situation of the town 
now became utterly desperate, and after a long con- 
sultation and a warm debate, Noailles determined on 
abandoning the contest ; and, in pursuance of this re- 
solve, embarked his forces on the 20th of August, and 
left the city to its fate-. 

The Maltese contingent had by this time become so 
fearfully reduced in numbers, owing to the casualties of 
a protracted siege, in which they had occupied a very 
exposed post, that they were no longer in a position 
to maintain themselves, and therefore retired from 
St. Andrew's gate, which they had hitherto succeeded 
in defending, and made preparations for following the 
example of the French, deeming all hope of further 


resistance futile. St. Andrew's Grate was blown up, 
and the Order embarked on the 29th of August, leav- 
ing the town almost entirely unprotected, and on 
the 6th of September it capitulated, and from that day 
the island of Candia passed for ever into the possession 
of the Infidel. 

The reputation for valour which the Knights of St. 
John had established of old did not in any degree suflFer 
by their conduct during this memoBable siege. The 
commandant Morosini thus alluded to their departure 
in a despatch to his government : — " I lose more by the 
departure of these few, but most brave warriors, than by 
that of all the other forces." Brussoni, in his " Guerra 
dei Turchi," also states, " Among the objects that they 
seemed most to admire, was the Grand-Master of Malta, 
and whenever he passed, they viewed him with ex- 
traordinary veneration, and looking on St. Andrew's 
Gate, where his Knights had stood, they wondered, and 
expressed to each other their high respect." The 
Grand-Master here alluded to must have been the 
Knight in command of the Maltese contingent, since 
Cottoner did not in person appear in Candia, the duties 
of his government being far too onerous and responsible 
to admit of his engaging in the character of a simple 
warrior in any case in which the defence of his own 
island was not concerned. The republic of Venice en- 
tertained so high a sense of the services rendered by 
the Order during this war, that they passed a decree 
authorising all Knights within their territories to ap- 
pear armed in every locality, a privilege which they 
did not concede to their own subjects. 

The prosecution of the Candian war had not pre- 
vented the Order from continuing those cruises which 


had rendered their flag 80 redoubtable in the Mediter- 
ranean. In 1664, they joined with a French force 
under the Duke de Beaufort (afterwards killed in Can- 
dia), in an expedition against Algiers ; but the result 
of this attempt was unfortunate, and the Knights were 
compelled to return to Malta. This mishap was, how- 
ever, speedily atoned for by a succession of triumphs, 
in which the names of Tremincourt, Crainville, and 
Hocquincourt attained for themselves the most brilliant 

The fate of Tremincourt was a sad termination to so 
glorious a career, but added a yet brighter lustre to the 
fame of his memory. His vessel having, during a 
tempest, been shipwrecked on the African coast, he was 
captured by the Moors, and the fame of his exploits 
having become well known to the sultan, he was for- 
warded to ASrianople to be disposed of in accordance 
with the imperial will. Mohammed IV. was at that time 
on the Ottoman throne, and was so taken by the high 
reputation and noble bearing of the youthful Tremin- 
court, that he made him the most flattering and tempt- 
ing oficrs to induce him to abandon his religion, and 
enter the Ottoman service. The hand of a princess of 
the imperial line was ofi^ered to him, together with a 
very high rank in their service ; but these inducements 
were not sufficient to tempt the noble youth to forsake 
the religion of his fathers. From persuasion, Moham- 
med turned to cruelty, and endeavoured by a series of 
hardships, indignities, and even tortures, to divert 
Tremincourt from the firmness of his resistance. Harsh 
measures did not, however, prove in any degree more 
successful than promises, and at length Mohammed, 
irritated to the last point at his obstinate refusal. 


directed his head to be cut off, and his body to be cast 
into the sea as unworthy of any more suitable burial. 
Thus did this gallant young Knight, whose deeds had 
already enrolled him amongst the heroes of his Order, 
end his brief but brilliant career, by a death which 
placed him in the number of those who had sealed 
their constancy to the religion of their fathers with 
their blood. 

Although all connection between the kingdom of 
England and the Order of Malta had ceased from the 
time when the property of the Knights throughout that 
kingdom had been abolished, and the language itself 
annihilated in the Order, still a constant interchange of 
correspondence appears to have taken place on matters 
connected with the navigation of the Mediterranean, 
and other subjects of a similar nature, between Charles 
II. and the Grand-Master. A dispute on a matter of 
etiquette appeared at one time likely to have disturbed 
the amicability of these relations. Charles had de- 
spatched into the Mediterranean a squadron, com- 
manded by Sir John Narbrough, and, in order to 
secure for them a hospitable reception in case they 
touched at Malta, he forwarded a letter, of which the 
following is a translation, to the Grand-Master : — 

" Charles II., by the grace of God, of Great 
Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of 
the Faith, &c. To the most eminent prince, the 
Lord Nicholas Cottoner, Grand-Master of the 
Order of Malta, our well-beloved cousin and 
friend — Greeting. 

" Most eminent prince, our well-beloved cousin and 
friend. The military Order, over which your eminence 




most worthily presides, having always used its power 
to render the navigation of the sea safe and peace- 
able for Christians, we in no way doubt that our 
ships of war, armed for the same purpose, will receive 
from your eminence every ofBce of friendship. We 
therefore are desirous of signifying to your eminence, 
by these our letters, that we have sent a squadron of 
our royal fleet to the Mediterranean sea, under the 
command of Sir John Narbrough, Knight, to look after 
the safety of navigation and commerce, and to oppose 
the enemies of public tranquillity. We therefore 
amicably beseech your eminence, that if ever the above- 
named Admiral Narbrough, or any of our ships cruising 
under his flag, should arrive at any of your eminence's 
ports or stations, or in any place subject to the Order 
of Malta, they may be considered and treated as 
friends and allies, and that they may be permitted to 
purchase with their money, and at just prices, and to 
export provisions, and munitions of war, and whatever 
they may require, which, on similar occasions, we will 
abundantly reciprocate to your eminence and to your 
most noble Order. 

" In the meantime we heartily recommend your emi- 
nence to the safeguard of the most high and most 
good God. 

" Given from our palace of Whitehall, the last day of 
November 1674. 

" Your highness's cousin and friend, Charles Rex." 

In accordance with the instructions he had received, 
Sir John Narbrough in due course made his appearance 
at Malta, but a dispute seems to have arisen upon the 
subject of salutes ; the admiral declining to salute the 


town, unless he were assured of an answer, whereas the 
Order were unwilling to pay that compliment to the 
British flag. The Grand-Master wrote a letter of com- 
plaint upon the subject of this grievance to the king of 
England, and Charles replied in the following terms : — 
'*We know not how it came to pass that our admiral 
in the Mediterranean sea, Sir John Narbrough, Knight, 
should have given such cause of complaint as is men- 
tioned in your eminence's letters, addressed to us under 
date of the 5th April, as to have refused to give the usual 
salute to the city of Malta, unless, perhaps, he had thought 
that something had been omitted on the part of the 
Maltese which he considered due to our dignity, and to 
the flag of our royal fleet. Be it, however, as it may, 
your eminence may be persuaded that it is our fixed 
and established intention to do and perform everything, 
both ourselves and by our officers, amply to show how 
much we esteem the sacred person of your eminence, 
and the Order of Malta. In order, therefore, that it 
should already appear that we do not wish greater 
honour to be paid to any prince than to your eminence, 
and to your celebrated Order, we have directed our 
above-mentioned admiral to accord all the same signs 
of friendship and goodwill towards your eminence's 
ports and citadels as towards those of the most Christian 
and Catholic kings ; and we no way doubt your Order 
will equally show that benevolence towards us which it 
is customary to show to the above-mentioned kings, or 
to either of them. 

" Given in our palace of Whitehall, on the 21st day 
of June 1676. Your eminence's good cousin and friend, 
Chaklbs Rex." 

B B 2 


This letter does not appear to have produced the 
desired result, as may be gathered from the following 
letter of Sir John Narbrough's, the original of which is 
now in the record office at Malta. 

" To the most eminent prince, the Lord Nicholas 
Cottoner, Grand- Master of the Order of Malta. 

" Most eminent Sir, 

" After the tender of my humble service, 
with my hearty thanks for the manifold favours vouch- 
safed unto my master, the king of Great Britain, &c., 
and for your highnesses extraordinary kindness mani- 
fested to myself; and, most eminent sir, since your 
favour of product (qy. pratique), I have sent on shore 
one of my captains to wait upon your highness with the 
presentment of this my grateful letter, and withal to 
certify to your eminence that T did, and do expect a 
salute to be given by your highness to my master's flag, 
which I carry, correspondent to the salutes which you give 
to the flags of the king of Spain and the king of France, 
which are carried in the same place, it being the expec- 
tation of the king my master. 

" Formerly your eminence was pleased to make some 
scruple of my command as admiral, which I humbly 
conceive your highness is fully satisfied in since you 
received the last letter from the king of Great Britain. 

" Sir, I have, since my arrival at your eminence's port, 
often employed the consul Desclaus to wait upon 
your highness concerning the salutes, but have not re- 
ceived any satisfactory answer thereto, which I now 
humbly desire may be returned unto me by my officer ; 
and withal, that your eminence will be pleased to 
honour me with your commands, wherein I may serve 


you, which shall be most cheerfully embraced, and 
readily performed by 

" Most eminent Sir, 

" Your highnesses most humble 
" And faithful servant, 

"John Narbrough. 

" On board H. M. S. * Henrietta,' Malta, October 17, 

What this complaint of Sir John Narbrough's con- 
sisted in is not very clear, since, by the annexed extract 
from the journal of the Rev. Henry Teonge, chaplain 
on board H. M. S. " Assistance," one of Narbrough's 
squadron, there appeared no reluctance on the part of the 
town to return their salute, or at all events they con- 
sented eventually to do so, and that after considerable 
rudeness and unnecessary bluster on the part of the cap- 
tain of the "Assistance," such as in the present day would 
not have been patiently tolerated by the weakest power. 
"August 1st, 1676. This mom wee com near Malta; 
before wee com to the cytty, a boate with the Malteese 
flagg in it coms to us to know whence wee cam. Wee 
told them from England ; they asked if wee had a bill 
of health for prat tick, viz., entertaynment ; our captain 
told them he had no bill but what was in his guns* 
mouths. Wee cam on and anchored in the harbour 
betweene the old towne and the new, about nine of the 
clock; but must wait the govemour's leasure to have leave 
to com on shoare, which was detarded because our captain 
would not salute the cytty, except they would retaliate. 
At last cam the consuU with his attendants to our ship 
(but would not com on board till our captain had been on 
shoare) to tell us that we had leave to com on shoare, 

B B 3 



six, or eight, or ten, at a time, and might have anything 
that was there to be had ; with a promise to accept our 
salute kindly. Whereupon our captain tooke a glass of 
sack, and drank a health to king Charles, and fyred seven 
gunns ; the cytty gave us five againe, which was more 
than they had don to all our men of warr that cam 
thither before." 

It is evident from the date of this entry, which was 
the 1st of August 1675, that this condescension on the 
part of Malta, although, according to Mr. Teonge, it was 
more than had ever been yielded previously, did not 
satisfy the punctilious admiral, since he penned the 
letter given above, the date of which is seven weeks 
subsequent to that incident. That the Grand-Master 
did eventually yield to the demands of the admiral, and 
salute his flag to his heart's content, is clear by the 
following extract from Teonge's diary, under dat« 
February 11th, 1676. 

"Sir John Narbrough cam in from Trypoly, and 
four more ships with him. The noble Malteese salute 
him with forty-five gunns ; he answered them with so 
many that I could not count them. And what with 
our salutes, and his answers, there was nothing but Wre 
and smoake for almost two hours." 

Indeed, the behaviour of the townspeople appears 
throughout to have been cordial and courteous, as 
witness the following extracts. 

"August 2, 1675. — This cytty is compassed almost 
cleane round with the sea, which makes severallsafe 
harbours for hundreds of shipps. The people are gene- 
rally extremely courteouse, but especially to the English. 
A man cannot demonstrate all their excellencys and 
ingenuitys. Let it suffice to say thus much of this 


place, viz. : Had a man no other business to invite him, 
yet it were sufficiently worth a man's cost and paines to 
make a voyage out of England, on purpose to see that 
noble cytty of Malta, and their works and fortifications 
about it. Several of their knights and cavaliers cam on 
board us, six at one time, men of sufficient courage and 
friendly carriage, wishing us good successe in our voy- 
age ; with whom I had much discourse, I being the only 
entertainer, because I could speak Latine, for which I 
was highly esteemed, and much invited on shoare again. 

" August 3. — This morning a boate of ladys, with 
their musick, to our ship's syd, and bottels of wine 
with them. They went severall times about our ship, 
and sang several songs very sweetly ; very rich in habitt, 
and very courteous in behaviour; but would not come on 
board, though invited; but having taken their friscs, 
returned as they cam. After them cam in a boat four 
fryars, and cam round about our ship, puld off their hatts 
and capps, saluted us with congjes, and departed. After 
them cam a boat of musitians, playd severall lessons 
as they rowed gently round about us, and went their 

" August 4. — This morning our captain was invited to 
dine with the Grand-Master, which hindered our depar- 
ture. In the meantime wee have severall of the Malteese 
com to visit us, all extremely courteous. And now 
wee are preparing to sail for Trypoly. Deus vortat bene. 

'^Thus wee, the 'Assistance' and the new Sattee, 
Doe steare our course poynt blanke for Trypolj ; 
Our ship new rigged, well stord with pigg and ghoose-a, 
Henns^ ducks, and turkeys, and wine cald Syracoosa." 

This civility on the part of the Order of St. John and 

B B 4 


the Maltese towards the fleet of Sir John Narbrough was 
amply requited, since the expedition to Tripoli alluded 
to in the above quaint stanza ended in the liberation of 
a large body of Christian slaves from their bonds in 
that principality, amongst whom were fifty Knights, 
who were restored to their homes by the gallant English. 
The Grand-Master, on the 7th April 1576, wrote to 
Charles II. a letter expressive of his gratitude for the 
eminent service thus rendered to his fraternity, to which 
Charles made the following reply. 

"Most eminent prince, our most dear cousin and 
friend. Our well beloved and faithful Sir John 
Narbrough, Knight, latterly admiral of our fleet in the 
Mediterranean sea, conveyed to us your eminence's 
letters, written under date of the 7th of April last, 
which being most full indeed of afl^ection and gratitude 
on your part, we received and perused with equal feel- 
ings and satisfaction. The acknowledgments of benefits 
conferred by us, which your eminence so frequently 
expresses, causes us also to return similar thanks to 
your eminence, and to the whole of your sacred Order, 
ifor all those oflices of humanity and courtesy with which 
you assisted our above-mentioned admiral, and other our 
ships stationed in that sea, of which we shall always 
preserve the memory indelibly engraved in our hearts. 
It is equally a source of pleasure to us that our arms 
have been of help to your eminence and to your Order ; 
and if the expedition had been of no other benefit, we 
consider it ample compensation in having restored to 
their homes so many persons, celebrated through the 
whole Christian and Infidel world, who were recovered 
from the power and chains of the barbarians. 


" May your eminence continue to desire that we should 
freely divide the glory of rendering peaceful the 
Mediterranean sea with the illustrious Order of Malta. 

" May the most good and great God sustain and pre- 
serve your eminence with all your religious Order. 

" Given from our palace of Whitehall, the 28th day of 
October 1676. Your eminence's good cousin and 
friend, Charles Rex," 

The Grand-Master appears to have taken advantage 
of the powerful support of the English fleet to secure 
the liberation of another member of his Order, a Ger- 
man Knight named Robert von Stael, who was languish- 
ing in chains under the bey of Algiers. The letter 
which he addressed to Charles upon this subject was 
dated on the 15th of August 1678, when the English 
were preparing for a fresh expedition against the Alge- 
rines. It produced the following reply from the easy- 
going monarch of England. 

" Most eminent prince, our well beloved cousin and 
friend. The thanks which your eminence, by your 
letters, written under date of the 16th of August last, 
returns to us on account of the fifty Knights of your 
Order liberated by our assistance from the slavery of 
the barbarians, could hardly be more acceptable to us 
than the prayers adjoined to the above-mentioned letters 
for the liberation from the slavery of the Algerines of 
another member of your holy Order, the German, John 
Robert A. Stael. We in consequence, in order that we 
may not appear to be wanting either in the will or in 
affection towards your eminence, have communicated 
our orders to our well beloved and faithful subject, Sir 


John Narbrough, Knight, commanding our fleets in 
those seas, that if the city of Algiers should be con- 
strained to agree to a treaty of just peace and submis- 
sion by the force of our arms, assisted by divine help, 
he should use every effort in his power so that the 
liberty of the said John Robert A. Stael be obtained. 
Your eminence is already well aware of the fidelity and 
zeal of our above-mentioned admiral, and we have no 
doubt that he will willingly and strenuously observe our 
orders on that head. It remains for us to heartily recom- 
mendyour eminence and the whole of your military Order 
to the safeguard of the most high and most good God. 
" Given from our palace at Whitehall, the 2nd day of 
November, in the year of our Lord 1678. Your 
eminence's good cousin and friend, Charles Rex." 

The English fleet was, at this period, of the most vital 
assistance in aiding to check the depredations of the 
Infidel corsairs of Africa, and was then establishing the 
first seeds of that supremacy in the Mediterranean, 
which they have since succeeded in rendering so indis- 
putable. It is not, however, probable that either Charles 
or Narbrough dreamt that the time would ever arrive, 
when the island fortress, whose batteries showed such 
reluctance to pay due horiour to the flag of England, 
should become one of the most valuable possessions of 
that country, and that her banner would one day wave 
over those walls which then neglected to pay her the 
respect due to her position amidst the nations of 

The conclusion of the siege of Candia left the Turks 
at liberty to pursue their aggressions in other quarters; 
and as the Order of St. John had, during that war, 


rendered the most vital assistance to the Venetians, 
Cottoner commenced to dread lest his island should 
now be called upon to bear the brunt of the sultan's 
indignation. He therefore lost no time in taking 
measures for the further security of Malta, and for that 
purpose invoked the aid of a celebrated Italian engi- 
neer, named Valperga. With his assistance, and under 
his direction, a most stupendous work was projected 
and commenced, which was intended to enclose the two 
peninsulas of the Bourg and Senglea in one vast enceinte. 
This line, which formed a complete semicircle, and 
enclosed a vast area in front of both peninsulas, was 
little short of three miles in length, and included nine 
bastions, with two demi-bastions at the extremities.* 

Great opposition was raised to the undertaking of this 
work, owing to the vast expenditure which its prosecu- 
tion would involve ; and, indeed, the whole design was 
such as to render it open to much criticism. Cottoner, 
however, was determined, and backed as he was by the 
opinion of so eminent an engineer as Valperga, he 
carried his point, and the works were commenced. For 
ten years they were prosecuted with undiminished 
energy, but at the expiration of that time they were 
discontinued from want of funds ; eventually, however, 
they were resumed until the enceinte was completed. 
The Order did not ever really accomplish the entire task 
laid down by Valperga, and when the island passed 
into the possession of the British crown, the lines of 
Cottonera, as they have always been called in honour 
of their original promoter, were still unfinished. A 
large sum has been voted by the English parliament for 

* Vide Appendix No. 19. 


their perfect completion ; and several alterations and 
additions have been made to the original design, tending 
materially to strengthen them, and to enable a garrison, 
such as the British government are prepared to main- 
tain in Malta, to defend themselves, at all events upon 
certain points of the extended enceinte. Within three 
or four years, therefore, the work, commenced in 1680, 
will become perfected, after the expiration of 180 years 
from its first commencement. 

Many additions were also made to the fortifications of 
the Floriana, which were considered to have been left 
by Lascaris in a very defective state ; and in order to 
protect the entrance to the grand harbour more per- 
fectly than the castle of St. Angelo was able to effect, a 
new fort was erected on the extreme point of land at 
its entrance, opposite to the point Dragut. This fort 
received the name of Ricasoli, a commander of that 
name having made a donation towards it of 30,000 

Whilst these works were being carried out to com- 
plete the protection of the island from the invasion of 
the Infidel foe, Cottoner did not neglect such measures 
for the benefit of his community as he deemed most 
necessary for their welfare. The system of quarantine 
being at that time a recognised principle, and being 
considered the only efl^ectual means of protecting the 
inhabitants on the Mediterranean sea coast from the 
scourge of the plague, then so prevalent in the East, as, 
indeed, also in Europe, Cottoner established a lazaretto 
upon the small island which stood within the Marsa 
Musceit. This establishment was fitted in the most 
complete way for carrying out the purposes to which 
it was dedicated, and, until late years, it has been 


invariably used for enforcing the regulations of quaran- 
tine. Happily, however, a more enlightened policy has 
demonstrated the utter inutility of restrictive measures 
of this nature, in checking the admission and propaga- 
tion of disease ; and the quarantine laws, which for so 
many years were maintained with the most intolerable 
rigour, have gradually given way before the enlighten- 
ment of the age, until, in Malta at all events, the 
lazaretto has become converted to other and more 
useful purposes. During the transit of the expedition- 
ary force from England, at the commencement of the 
Kussian war in 1854, the three battalions of Her 
Majesty's foot guards, who formed a part of that body, 
were quartered in the lazaretto during their stay in 
the island. 

It is curious to contemplate the changes which less 
than two centuries had brought forth within the island 
of Malta. The lazaretto was originally constructed by 
an Order pledged to an unceasing warfare against the 
Turkish empire. From that Order the English nation 
had seceded at the period of the Reformation, and had 
struck a severe blow to its prosperity by the alienation 
and confiscation of all its English property. . Later still, 
the French nation, who had formed so preponderating 
an element within the fraternity that three of its eight 
languages were comprised of members of that country, 
and who had always, from their numbers and wealth, 
greatly influenced ^he fortunes of the convent, struck 
the death blow to the Order, and themselves drove out 
from their island home the community whom for so 
many centuries they had supported and maintained. 
It was strange, then, to see the former of these two 
nations in undisputed sovereignty over the island, so 


long acknowledging the sway of the Order of St. John, 
and its city crowded by the choicest troops of both 
powers, about to proceed to the defence of the Turkish 
empire, the old and inveterate foe of the Hospital, 
against the only nation which had tendered them a 
supporting hand and a new shelter, when driven away 
from their old homes. 









The death of Nicholas Cottoner, which occurred in 1680, 
at the age of seventy-three years, caused the utmost 
grief in the convent, where he had rendered himself 
highly respected and most deservedly popular, as well 
by the successful administration of his public functions, 
as by the courteousness and affability of his demeanour 
in private. Indeed, during the sixteen years that his 
rule lasted, the Order of St. John appeared to have 
rallied greatly from the state of degeneracy and disor- 
ganisation into which it had fallen beneath the sway of 
his immediate predecessors. 

His personal popularity and conciliating policy had 
restored the most perfect tranquillity within the con- 
vent. Those dissentions and turbulent brawls which 
had rendered them notorious for the last fifty years, 
and had prevented so many Grand-Masters from carry- 


ing out the beneficial measures they designed, became 
hushed from the moment that his brother Raphael was 
through his interest nominated to the supreme dignity. 
The duration of that chief's governance was too limited 
for him to carry into effect any measures by which he 
could become celebrated, and his memory revered ; but 
it had this good effect, at least, that it paved the way 
by three years of preliminary tranquillity for the bene- 
ficial reforms which were even then teeming within the 
brain of his brother Nicholas. Under these favouring 
circumstances, therefore, the sixteen years of this latter 
chief were spent in devising and carrying into effect 
measures which, at his decease, left the convent in a 
very different position to what he had found it in 1663. 
The public works which were established during this 
period not only added materially to the importance and 
security of the island, but they also afforded employ- 
ment to vast numbers of the inhabitants, many of whom, 
as the relatives and dependents of those who had fallen 
in the numerous conflicts of the Order with the Turk, 
would, but for this support, have been left utterly un- 
provided for, and in a state of the most complete desti- 

Although we shall find this prosperity continuing, 
more or less, during the time of his successor, it was by 
no means so flourishing, and it gradually sank, until 
the decadence of the fraternity became too decided to 
admit of any further rally. Degenerate as the seven- 
teenth century had been, as compared with those which 
had gone before, the eighteenth, which was now rapidly 
approaching, was far worse ; and when at its close the 
Order found itself practically annihilated, and blotted 
out for ever from the list of European powers, that 


event seemed more the result of natural internal ex- 
haustion than of foreign interference. 

The age which had called into existence the Order of 
St. John had long since passed away, and with it the 
necessities which had led to the success of that Insti- 
tution. So long as the Turkis hpower continued to in- 
crease and flourish, and so long as the ambitious policy 
of its rulers had caused it to be a source of constant 
dread and uneasiness to the nations of Europe, the Hos- 
pitallers, as the natural and sworn foe of that power, 
found sufficient exercise for their energy, and such an 
ample field for their valour, that they became for cen- 
turies recognised as the most effectual barrier Chris- 
tianity could erect against the Infidel tide which con- 
tinually threatened to overrun Europe. They had, in 
fact, become a necessary consequence of the aggressions 
of the Moslem, and so long as those menaces continued 
to cloud the political horizon in the East, we find but 
little decline in the vigour of the Order. The reign of 
Solyman the Magnificent had, however, been the cul- 
minating point of Turkish prosperity. Under him the 
nation had reached the climax of its greatness, and after 
his death numerous causes contributed to bring on a 
rapid diminution in the forces of the empire. For up- 
wards of a century this decline was too gradual and 
imperceptible to calm the fears of the world. Aggres- 
sions in the Mediterranean and in the eastern countries 
of Europe still continued, and were still opposed by 
Christian valour. Hungary and Poland, Candia and the 
Levant, were still the scenes of many a bloody strife 
and many a hard contested fight. In most of these the 
Order bore its part, and bore it manfully ; maintaining, 
so far as the altered conditions of the times permitted, 

VOL. II. c c 


that ancient reputation for constancy and valour which 
had, in the ages of their forefathers, so justly distin- 
guished the fraternity. 

From the middle, however, of the seventeenth cen- 
tury it became no longer possible to doubt the serious 
and rapidly accelerating diminution of the Turkish 
power. True they still, ever and anon, rallied their 
energies and burst forth beyond the barrier which was 
raised against them. We shall yet find them beneath 
the very walls of Vienna, threatening the existence of 
Austria ; but this appears to have been the last expiring 
effort of their ancient prowess and ambition ; for from 
the date of the bloody repulse which they then sustained 
at the hands of the heroic John Sobieski, they retired 
within the limits of their own territories, and the fears 
and anxieties of Europe were quelled for ever. Other 
nations have sprung up, and other aggressions have 
called for general intervention to check their advance ; 
but we no longer hear of Turkish encroachments, or of 
Christian leagues to oppose her progress. 

As a natural result of this cessation of the necessity 
which called them into existence, the Order of St. John, 
whose decline had commenced coeval with that of the 
Turks, after the death of their great leader La Valette, 
rapidly degenerated, and became so effete, that at the 
close of another century they were swept away without 
a struggle, and no one friendly voice was raised to 
restore them again to their position. 

The new Grand-Master, elected to supply the place 
of the deceased Cottoner, was Gregory Caraffa, prior of 
La Rocella, and consequently a member of the Italian 
language. This was the first time for 130 years that 
a Knight of that nation had been raised to the supreme 


dignity, and his accession was consequently hailed by 
his countrymen with the most lively satisfaction. He 
did not, however, attain this elevation until after the 
most glaring and distressing cabals had been generated 
amidst the community ; who now seemed to look upon 
the event of a vacancy as an opportunity for a general 
scramble for the glittering prize. The peace and unani- 
mity which had prevailed within the convent in the 
days of the brothers Cottoner still continued, and ren- 
dered the rule of Caraffa prosperous and happy. The 
bishop who then occupied the see of Malta was a pre- 
late of liberal views and enlightened piety. Devoting 
himself to the spiritual welfare of his flock, he did not 
intermix, like too many of his predecessors, in political 
matters ; far less did he endeavour in any degree to 
subvert the authority of the Grand-Master in order to 
elevate his own influence. 

With so faithful and pious a coadjutor, Caraffa found 
himself in a most favourable position for consulting the 
real interests of his fraternity, and he devoted himself 
with the most zealous energy to the completion of those 
extensive works which had been commenced by his pre- 
decessor. The fort of St. Elmo was almost entirely 
rebuilt, and that of St. Angelo much extended and im- 
proved.* Whilst thus strengthening his own position, 
he was by no means an inactive spectator in the war 
then raging between the Turks and Austrians, and the 
Maltese fleet was most successfully engaged in the 
waters of the Levant during this period. Thus we find 
the emperor Leopold, in 1683, addressing a special letter 
to Caraffa, in which he thanks him in the warmest 

• Vide Appendix No. 19. 
c c 2 


terms for preserving Christendom from the Turkish 
fleet ; and in the same year the heroic John Sobieski 
addressed two letters to him, in which he relates the 
particulars of the glorious victories which he had gained 
over the Turks ; one under the walls of Vienna, on the 
13th of September, and the other crossing the Danube, 
on the 10th of October 1683. The fact that this gene- 
ral deemed it advisable to forward a detailed account of 
his movements to Malta, proves that the Order still 
ranked high in public estimation as opponents to Turkish 

The brilliant successes of John Sobieski led to the 
formation of a new league against the Infidel in the 
following year, the principal members of which were 
the Pope, the republic of Venice, and the Order of 
Malta. For several years this league subsisted in full 
force, and the shores of Barbary and the Morea felt the 
weight of their power from end to end. Previsa and 
Santa Maura both fell by the prowess of the Knights ; 
and afterwards, in conjunction with the Venetian and 
papal galleys, the combined squadron attacked Coron, 
and, after a most obstinate resistance, carried it by 
storm. On this occasion Correa, the general of the 
galleys, commander of the Maltese contingent, fell 
gloriously at the head of his Knights. A fort bad 
been carried by the allies, but was recaptured by the 
Infidel, when the gallant Correa, advancing at the head 
of his troops amidst a storm of missiles, once more 
gained possession of the disputed point, and tearing the 
banner of the crescent from its position on the rampart, 
raised the white-cross of St. John in its place. That 
moment of victory was, however, destined to be his 
last ; for in the very act of planting his own banner on 
the conquered wall, he was struck by a musket-ball in 


the chest, and only lived long enough to learn that 
Coron had fallen into the hands of the Christians. 
After the capture of old and new Navarino, siege was 
laid to Napoli in Romania, the chief town of the Morea. 
This last stronghold of the Moslem was defended with 
the most exemplary tenacity. Three separate times did 
they strive to effect its relief from without, but each time 
they were routed with great slaughter beneath its walls ; 
and at the end of a month, the town, despairing of any 
successful eflfort being made for its relief, and harassed 
by the incessant attacks of the besiegers, surrendered 
at will, and thus the last fortress of the Turks in the 
Morea once more fell into the power of the Christian 

In 1687, the Dalmatian coast became the scene of 
war, and Castel Nuovo was carried in triumph ; a 
success which dislodged the Moslem from the Adriatic, 
and restored the command of its commerce to the 
Venetians. This last feat was principally effected by 
the instrumentality of Count Heberstein, grand-prior of 
Hungary, a general in the imperial service, and leader 
of the Maltese contingent to the allied force. Letters 
from both the doge of Venice and the Pope speak in 
the most laudatory terms of the efforts of the Knights 
in the " strenua Castrinovi expugnatio ; " and the 
former expressly specifies the general of the Knights of 
Malta, Count Heberstein, as the principal agent in the 
victory. This heroic Knight did not long survive the 
hour of his triumph, but in the following year died in 
Germany, having in the interim paid a visit to Malta, 
where he took such preparatory measures as he deemed 
advisable for the settlement of his affairs after his 
decease, which he felt to be rapidly approaching. In 

c c 3 


order to prevent any disputes as to the disposition of 
his property, which was extensive, he compromised the 
claims which the Order would have had, under the 
charge of " Spoglia," by a payment in money during 
his life, so that when he died his whole fortune reverted 
without deduction to his lawful heir. 

In the early part of 1689, James XL of England, then 
a fugitive in France, wrote the following letter to the 
Grand-Master, relating to his natural son Henry Fitz 
James Stewart, whose mother was Arabella Churchill, 
sister to the famous Duke of Marlborough. 

" To my cousin, the Grand-Master of the Order of 

St. John of Jerusalem : — 
" My cousin. We are so strongly persuaded of your 
zeal for the Catholic religion, that we do not doubt 
you will readily embrace every occasion which may 
present itself of manifesting it. And as we have 
particular gratification in seconding your good in- 
tentions in such laudable designs, we have resolved to 
dedicate to the Order of the Knights of Malta, Henry 
Fitz James, our natural son, already well known to 
you. For your kindness and civility extended to 
him when at Malta, we have to thank you sincerely. 
Although young, he is not wanting in experience, for 
he has already crossed the sea, and for nearly two 
years fought against the heretics. Wherefore, when you 
have received this attestation of his sanctity, which we 
have thought proper to send you on the subject, we 
hope that in your goodness you will kindly grant him 
the dignity of the grand-prior of England, enregistering 
him according to the usual forms of that rank. And 
as we doubt not that you will grant this favour, we 
promise you all aid and assistance which is or shall be 


possible, for the glory and advantage of so illustrious 
and useful an Order, in the service of God, and to the 
glory of His church. May God keep us in His holy 
care. My cousin, your affectionate cousin, James R. 
" Given at St. Germain en Laye, 24th February 1689." 

This letter was discussed by the Grand-Master in 
council, and the records show a minute dated 2nd of 
April 1689, in which it is decreed that it should be 
registered, and that his majesty should be thanked for 
the honour he had conferred upon the Order, and for 
the affection which he entertained towards it ; assuring 
him that on receiving the attestation of which he 
writes, in favour of his natural son, he shall be received 
with welcpme. James returned the following reply to 
this notification : — 

" My cousin. We received with much satisfaction 
your obliging letter of the 4th of April ; from which, 
besides the esteem and regard which you profess for 
our youthful Fitz James, we observe with pleasure the 
zeal you evince to gratify our wish, as expressed on a 
previous occasion. For this reason we feel obliged, and 
anxious on all accounts to testify our gratitude towards 
you. This we do with all the sincerity of a heart 
zealous in the cause of religion, and particularly for the 
glory of your illustrious Order, to the aggrandisement 
of which we shall ever have infinite pleasure in con- 
tributing. And in order that our son may be a subject 
worthy of serving God and His holy church in the 
dignity of grand-prior of England, which you are 
willing to confer upon him, we will not allow him to 
lose any more time, though he be actually engaged in a 
campaign, both active and dangerous, against our 

c c 4 


rebellious subjects, who are the enemies of religion ; 
but forward the attestation which our holy father has 
had the goodness to send in his favour. For the rest, 
and for the success of our affairs, we recommend our- 
selves to the prayers and good wishes of all your Order, 
and pray God that He will have you in His holy keeping. 
" Given in our court at the castle of Dublin, the 
13th of July, A.D. 1689. Your affectionate cousin, 
James R," * 

It does not appear that Fitz James Stewart, although 
made a grand-cross and grand-prior of England, ever 
became professed as a Knight. As the latter dignity 
was a practical nullity, and the new prior found himself 
denuded of his priory, it is natural that the Order 
should have acceded so readily to James's wish ; the 
more so as there still remained a possibility that the 
Catholic James would succeed in regaining his lost 
kingiloms ; in which case he would most certainly have 
striven to render the defunct priory of England some* 
thing more than a barren title. It will be seen that 
the last letter was addressed from Dublin, in July 1689, 
just one year prior to the battle of the Boyne, by which, 
those hopes were crushed for ever. James was at that 
time making preparations for his Irish campaign, tQ 
which he alludes in the above letter. 

The last public event of Caraffa's life did not termi- 
nate so successfully as those which have been previously 
recorded. The allies, in 1689, attempted the capture 
of Negropont, and met with a bloody repulse from the 

* Both of the above letters are written in French, and are now iu 
the Record Office of Malta. 


garrison, in which struggle the Order had to mourn the 
loss of twenty-nine Knights, and a large number of the 
bravest of their soldiery. Caraffa was already in a 
failing state of health, when the intelligence of this 
disaster reached Malta ; and the vexation and dis- 
appointment which it created, brought on a violent 
attack of fever, from which he never rallied, and on the 
2l8t of July 1690, he died, at the age of seventy -three, 
after a reign of ten years. 

His successor was Adrian de Vignacourt, nephew to 
the former Grand-Master of the same name, and grand- 
treasurer of the Order. His rule of seven years pre- 
sented no event of importance, either political or social, 
beyond the incident of a fearful earthquake, which in 
1693 ravaged the Mediterranean. Malta suffered the 
loss of several buildings during this convulsion of 
nature, which lasted by intervals for three days; but 
in other localities the results were far more serious. 
Sicily, in particular, suffered most fearfully, and the 
town of Agosta was completely laid in ruins. The in- 
telligence of this misfortune no sooner reached Malta 
than the fraternity, mindful of the principles of their 
institution, promptly equipped a squadron with supplies 
for the houseless and destitute inhabitants, which formed 
a most seasonable relief to them in the height of their 
distress. Considering that this visitation was to be 
regarded in the light of a chastisement from heaven, 
Vignacourt directed that a public fast should be held ; 
and, although it was the period of the carnival, he 
forbad all the ordinary amusements customary at that 
festive season. 

A dispute which for the last forty years had raged 
between the Order of St. John and the republic of 


Genoa, was, by the intercession and good offices of Pope 
Innocent XII., reconciled, and therivjil powers returned 
to their former amicable footing. The quarrel had 
originated during the later days of the Grand- Master 
Lascaris, upon the following grounds. The squadron of 
Malta, having entered the harbour of Genoa, saluted the 
city and the Spanish fleet which lay there at the time, 
but refused to pay the same compliment to the Genoese 
galleys, alleging that they themselves were entitled to a 
priority in this respect. The magistrates of the city, 
indignant at what they considered an insult to their 
flag, and feeling that they had the power in their hands 
of enforcing their demands, despatched a message to the 
Maltese commander, informing him that, if he did not 
instantly pay the same compliment to the Genoese 
galleys as he had given to the Spaniards, they would 
open the batteries of the town on his ships, and sink 
them where they lay at anchor. The situation admitted 
of no altercation; the galleys were completely at the 
mercy of the town, and their commander felt that he 
had nothing left but to comply. The salute was accord- 
ingly given with a very bad grace, and the Maltese 
fleet at once left the harbour in high dudo:eon at the 
compulsion which had extorted from them a compliment 
they did not consider due. On their arrival in Malta 
the fraternity took up the quarrel, and the general in- 
dignation ran so high against the Genoese, that a decree 
was promptly passed by the council, prohibiting any 
member of that nation from being admitted into the 
Order until ample satisfaction had been granted. In 
the reign of Caraffa, the Pope had endeavoured to 
reconcile the dispute ; but although the Order then ex- 
pressed their readiness to leave the arbitration of the 


affair entirely in his hands, and to acquiesce implicitly 
in his decision, the Genoese were by no means so com- 
plying, and the matters remained unsettled until the 
close of Vignacourt*s reign, when by his influence they 
were compromised, and the Genoese once more admitted 
into the institution. As forty years had elapsed since 
the restriction had been first imposed, a large number 
of candidates had accumulated, who flocked into the 
Order immediately on that prohibition being removed. 

Vignacourt also established a fund for the relief of 
the widows and orphans of those among the Maltese 
who had fallen in the wars of the Order, in the pro- 
tracted naval struggle which had for the last thirty 
years been carried on against the Infidel. To this fund 
the wealthier among the Knights contributed with great 
munificence, and the result of the charitable movement 
was, that much misery and destitution was averted from 
the inhabitants. 

Adrian de Vignacourt died on the 4th of February 
1697, and was succeeded by Raymond Perrelos, an 
Aragonese Knight, and bailiff^ of Negropont at the time 
of his election. Although sixty years of age, he was 
still possessed of all the vigour and activity of the prime 
of manhood, and had witnessed with extreme regret 
the degeneracy of the fraternity, both morally and 
physically, from the position in which they were for- 
merly regarded throughout Europe. His first efforts, 
therefore, on assuming the baton of Grand-Master, were 
directed towards the introduction of reforms into the 
internal administration of the convent. Several sump- 
tuary laws were, by his influence, passed through the 
council, and also strict prohibitions from indulging in 
games of chance, and other worldly amusements. These 


reforms, however, were now introduced far too late to 
be of any practical use in restoring a feeling of piety 
into the Order, after so lengthened a period during 
which such sentiments had been utterly neglected. 
Perrelos himself was a well-meaning, zealous, and pious 
Christian ; but he no longer possessed either the power 
or the influence necessary to promote that feeling 
amongst the young, hot-headed, thoughtless Knights 
whom he found dwelling in the convent of Malta, and 
who passed their days in such roystering joviality, and 
rollicking gaieties, as they considered adapted to their 
age and social position. 

In these intended ameliorations, Perrelos was warmly 
seconded by Pope Innocent XII., whose conduct towards 
the Order of St. John stands out in happy relief when 
compared to that of too many of his predecessors. Not 
only did he firmly support the Grand-Master in the 
reforms which he was introducing into the convent, but 
he himself, feeling how often the papal see had acted 
prejudicially to the interests of the Order, by nomina- 
ting to vacant dignities in the Italian language "without 
regard to seniority, and the just claims of the older 
Knights, made a decree, by which he bound himself to 
discontinue a practice so detrimental to the fraternity. 
Nor did he content himself with words only*; for, as 
several of the commanderies fell vacant, he referred the 
nomination of their successors to the convent ; who 
thus found restored to them a most important privilege, 
which they had long since ceased to consider within 
their power. 

He also reconciled a dispute which had broken out 
between the bishop of Malta and the prior of the church, 
touching their respective dignities and authority, which 


had at one time threatened to bring much discord into 
the convent. Both of these prelates, however, were so 
well assured of the justice, discrimination, and good 
faith of the sovereign pontiff, that they willingly re- 
ferred their dispute to his arbitration, and were both 
perfectly contented to abide by the issue of his decision. 
In the year following the election of Perrelos to the 
magistracy, the Order were honoured by a special mis- 
sion from the ambassador of Peter the Great, czar of 
Russia. Hitherto they had had little or no communi- 
cation with that kingdom, being possessed of no property 
within its limits, and the country having been plunged 
into such a rude condition of barbarism, that its 
intercourse with foreign powers had been confined to 
those in its own immediate vicinity. Peter, however, 
who despite the savage and ferocious inhumanity of his 
temperament, was gifted with a political foresight and 
sagacity, which enabled him to take the most giant 
strides in his efforts to civilise his people, determined 
to extend -his friendly relations beyond the narrow limits 
which had satisfied the policy of his predecessors. His 
empire lying in near contiguity to that of the Moslem, 
he had already been brought into frequent and serious 
collision with his aggressive neighbours ; and although 
he had at length succeeded in establishing peaceable 
relations with them, he was anxious, as far as possible, 
to secure support in any future diflSculties which might 
occur. With this view he turned his eyes upon the 
Order of Malta, who, as the natural, sworn, and in- 
veterate foes of the Infidel, were always ready to lend 
their aid to any measure by which that power was to 
be curbed ; and determined to cultivate such friendly re- 
lations with them as should assure him of their warm 


and able support in case of necessity. For this pur- 
pose, he selected a boyard named Kzereraetz, one of 
the leading generals of the Muscovite army, and de- 
spatched him on a mission to the court of Rome, with 
instructions that after he had paid his respects to his 
holiness, he should extend his journey to Malta, and 
enter into negotiations with the Order of St. John. 

Kzeremetz, in pursuance of these instructions, ex- 
pressed his desire to visit Malta in a harangue which 
he delivered before Innocent XXL, when he stated, *' that 
after having seen the most celebrated city in the world, 
the holy city of God, as also the sacred relics of St. 
Peter and St. Paul, the two principal of the apostles, 
and having received in person the blessing of his holi- 
ness, the vicar of Jesus Christ upon earth, he was re- 
solved to visit the most famous heroes of the church 
militant, the sacred Order of Malta." This desire on 
his part was communicated to the council by their am- 
bassador at Rome, Sacchite, and preparations were im- 
mediately commenced to receive him with due honour 
on his arrival. It was decided that he should be saluted 
with twelve guns, and the fraternity were much annoyed 
to find that the general of the galleys, the Chevalier de 
Cremeville, who encountered the great man off Cape 
Passaro, and who was ignorant of the point of etiquette 
which had been decided on, only saluted him with four 
guns. On his arrival in the harbour of Valetta, this 
error was promptly rectified, and the specified number 
of discharges pealed forth their welcome to the Mus* 
covite envoy with due honour. 

When it is remembered that the flag of England had 
only received a salute of five guns (which Mr. Teonge 
informed us was more than had ever been given before). 


on the occasion of the arrival of the "Assistance " in Malta 
not many years before, and when we find the Order so 
tenacious about its salutes, that it required a long cor- 
respondence with both the British admiral and Charles 
II. to extort a proper compliment, and also that they 
maintained an open rupture with the republic of Grenoa 
for forty years upon the same subject, we may gather how 
anxious they must have been to receive the ambassador 
of Peter with due respect. 

Perrelos was probably endowed with sufficient saga* 
city to perceive how advantageous this new opening 
might prove to his Order. He could not but feel that 
the ground upon which they had so long rested was 
gradually gliding from beneath them. In those coun- 
tries whence for so many years they had drawn their 
principal support, feelings had very much changed re- 
specting them. In England they had long since been 
crushed and dispossessed; in France and Spain they 
were now being regarded very much in the light of a 
useless drag upon the prosperity of the country, drawing 
vast sums from its territories without making any ade- 
quate return; and throughout Europe the changes of 
the last century had produced an eflfect very prejudicial 
to the future prospects of the Order. Perrelos might 
well, therefore, seize joyfully the opportunity which 
thus oflfered itself, of opening up a new field in which 
the fraternity might hope to replace some of the defal- 
cations which were soon to be anticipated elsewhere. 
He could scarcely, however, have been gifted with so 
keen an insight into futurity as to have imagined for 
one moment, that just a century from the time when he 
was receiving the Russian general with such magnifi- 
cence and honour in the iidand of Malta, the Order of 


St. John, expelled from their stronghold, destitute and 
homeless, should find in that country an asylum and a 
support which was denied to them elsewhere. And yet 
such was destined to be the course of events ; and the 
Order may look upon the Grand-Master who first ce- 
mented an alliance, ultimately destined to prove of such 
vital necessity to them in their last moments, as a greater 
benefactor, and a more useful sovereign than many, 
whose deeds, whilst, perhaps, more brilliant, were of less 
solid advantage to the community, 

Kzeremitz was entertained with great splendour at 
the sole expense of the Grand-Master, from the 12 th to 
the 19th of May 1698; and prior to his departure, was 
decorated with the grand-cross of the Order, by the 
hands of Perrelos in person. In order to render this 
decoration the more valued, it was touched by a piece of 
the true cross, and by the hand of their patron saint, 
St. John the Baptist, and was placed round the neck of 
the Russian, suspended by a massive gold chain ; Per- 
relos at the same time informing the recipient that he 
was thus decorated, less on account of his position as a 
magnate of Russia, and an envoy of its redoubtable czar, 
than because of his military exploits against the Infidel, 
his friendship for the Order of St. John, and the zeal 
which had prompted him to make so long a journey, 
in order to personally visit their island home. 

The naval exploits of the Knights of Malta continued 
throughout Perrelos' reign with scarcely any inter- 
mission ; but they found that they were no longer in a 
position to cope as advantageously as formerly with the 
Turkish fleet. True, they still achieved many successes, 
and invariably comported themselves with the utmost 
gallantry before the foe, and in 1701 captured a large 


Turkish man-of-war of eighty guns, which was considered 
to redound so greatly to the credit of the Chevalier 
Richard, to whose daring the result was principally 
attributable, that the council decreed the colours of the 
captured ship should be placed in the church of St, John 
at Aix, the birthplace of the gallant Knight, in perpe- 
tual commemoration of his exploit. Still they felt that 
their galleys were no longer adapted to maintain un- 
aided a struggle against the Turkish fleet which was 
constantly being augmented by vessels of the largest 
size. Perellos was so impressed with this fact, that he 
influenced the council to decree the construction of 
men-of-war, which should aid the galleys in their cruises, 
and place the Order of St. John once more on a footing 
of equality with the Infidel corsairs which infested the 

Three vessels of large size were consequently built, 
named respectively the St. Raymond, the St. Joseph, 
and the St. Vincent, and the command of this new fleet 
was intrusted to the Chevalier de St. Pierre, a French 
Knight of much naval experience, who made his first 
cruise with his new flotilla in 1706, when he succeeded 
in capturing the Tunisian flag-ship of fifty guns, which 
was immediately added to the Maltese navy, under the 
title of the Santa Cruce. In a preceding chapter de- 
scriptive of this force, allusion has been made to the 
distinction between the galleys and the ships of war 
which latterly combined to constitute their fleet : this 
was the date at which that change was first made ; pre- 
viously the Order had, of late years, possessed only 

In 1707, the Chevalier de Langon was enabled to 
force his way through the midst of the Algerine fleet 



then blockading Oran, which was being gallantly de- 
fended by the Spaniards, and to throw a large supply of 
ammunition and provisions into the beleaguered fortress; 
upon which event the Pope wrote a letter of congratu- 
lation to the Grand- Master. The daring of De Langon 
was, however, fruitless in saving Oran, as four months 
later that place capitulated to the Algerines, in the 
early part of November, 1707. In the ensuing year, 
the convent was menaced by an attack from the Turks, 
and great preparations were made for its protection. 
The Pope sent a body of troops into the island to assist 
in its defence, under the proviso, that, should the Turk- 
ish descent be made in any other quarter, the Order of 
St. John should tender their aid, in combination with 
the Papal troops. The dreaded expedition eventually 
became dwarfed down into a descent on Gozo, where their 
exploits were limited to the destruction of a few small 
craft. Whilst retiring from this feeble demonstration 
the Infidels were overtaken by De Langon, who burnt 
two of their vessels and took four hundred prisoners, 
besides releasing fifty Christians from captivity. The 
Tripolitan commander, the famous Ala Antulla Ogli 
Stamboli, was captured on this occasion. 

The next year the Algerine fleet met with a similar 
disaster at the hands of De Langon, when the flag-ship 
with all its crew struck to the Maltese squadron. On 
this occasion, however, the Order had to mourn the 
loss of that valiant Knight, who fell, struck by 
a bullet, at the moment of victory. His body was 
interred with great honour in the cathedral of Cartha- 
gena under the high altar, and the Grand-Master, 
anxious to perpetuate the memory of a Knight who had 
rendered such eminent services to his Order, and cast so 


much renewed lustre upon their naval reputation, placed 
a tablet, containing a laudatory inscription to his memory, 
in the nave of the conventual church of St. John, in 

During this period, the inquisitor Delci had been 
causing great annoyance within the convent, from the 
arrogance of his conduct and the extravagance of his 
pretensions. His first dispute arose with the overseer 
of the infirmary. The hospital had always been con- 
sidered by the fraternity as a privileged spot, no person, 
excepting the Grand- Hospitaller, being ever permitted 
to enter its precincts, without leaving behind him the 
ensigns of his dignity. To this rule the officers of the 
Inquisition chose to demur, and even attempted to effect 
an entrance by surprise. The Grand-Hospitaller, how- 
ever, speedily compelled them to evacuate the building, 
and strictly forbad their readmission. Delci was not 
content with this assertion of the immunities of his 
position. He even went so far as to endeavour to take 
precedence of the Grand-Master himself, insisting that, 
on meeting in the street, the carriage of the latter 
should stop to let him pass, together with other equally 

* This inscription ran as follows : — *^ Fratri Josepbo de Langnon- 
AWernocujus virtutem in ipso Tjronicii flore maturam Grallice naves 
fecere Thraces sensere, Melitenses habuere victricem Oranum dira 
obsidione cinctum, cum unica religionis nave cui proeerat onorariam 
ducens, penetrata Algerii classe ejusque rege teste vel invito Militem 
et commeatam invexit Generalis classium prasfectus ad Tripolitano- 
rum praetoriam incendendam plarimo momento fuit. Laudes tamen 
consilio et fortitadine sibi ubique coemptas in alios continuo transtu- 
lit. Suprema tamen Algerii nave subacta accepto que inde vulnere 
acerbo, victor fato cessit die 18 Aprilis, 1710, aetat. 41. E. M. M. 
F. D. R. de Perellos Roccafull ad benemerentiao argumentam mortuo 
hoc moerens positum voluit cenotapbium ad memoriaa perennitatem. 

p i> 2 


ridiculous pretensions. But the grossest injury which 
he perpetrated was the wholesale grant of patents, 
whereby the holders become exonerated from all allegi- 
ance save to the Inquisition, and were privileged from 
the action of any court or jurisdiction but that of the 

This system was carried to so great a length, that in 
1712, Perellos sent a special ambassador to Rome to 
make a formal complaint to the Pope of the irregular 
and vexatious proceedings of Delci. At the same time, 
the overseer of the hospital proceeded to France to 
invoke the aid of the king in resisting his unwarrant- 
able intrusions. The Pope interfered to prevent for 
the future all further annoyance from this source, but 
the inquisitor received no punishment for his former 
offences ; and the peace which was established between 
him and the Order was at best but a hollow truce, liable 
to be disturbed whenever a convenient opportunity 
should present itself for him to renew his pretensions. 

The following letter, received by the Grand-Master 
from Queen Anne of England in 1713, marks that the 
fleet of the Order had rendered valuable assistance to 
that of Great Britain in their incursions against the 
various nests of piratical Moslems who infested the 
northern coasts of Africa: — "Anne, by the grace of 
God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland Queen, 
Defender of the Faith ; to the Most Illustrious and 
Most High Prince, the Lord Ra}Tnond Perellos, Grand- 
Master of the Order of Malta, Our well-beloved 
Cousin and Friend, greeting : Most Illustrious and Most 
High Prince, our well-beloved Cousin and Friend, It 
was with great pleasure that we received your Highness* 
letters of the 31st March, in which your Highness 


demonstrates your good will towards us and our sub- 
jects so clearly, that there can be no room for doubt on 
that head. We return thanks, as in duty bound, to 
your Highness for the assistance aflForded to our sub- 
jects during the course of this last war, and we will not 
omit any good office by which we may be able to prove 
to your Highness in how great esteem we hold your 
friendship, and with what benevolence we regard you 
and all your affairs. It remains for us heartily to 
recommend your Highness to the protection of the 
Most High and Most Good God. Given from our 
palace of Kensington, on the 8th day of the month of 
July, in the year of our Lord 1713, and of our reign 
the twelfth, Your Highness' good Cousin and Friend, 
Anne R." ♦ 

At this period, the convent of Malta appears to have 
been in a most flourishing condition. The bailiff of Cham- 
bray, who has left a manuscript record of these times, 
says, that "in 1715, at the moment of the declaration 
of war by the Turks against the Venetians, the court of 
the Grand-Master Perellos presented a most brilliant 
aspect. No less than fifteen hundred Knights, many of 
them general officers in every army in Christendom, 
formed the main ornament of the residence of the 
Order." The preparations making by the Sublime 
Porte had alarmed the fraternity, and, fearing lest 
Malta was to be the point of attack, members flocked 
from every quarter, anxious to reap the harvest of glory 
which a second successful defence of their island-strong- 
hold would present. Fortifications were repaired and 

* This letter, bearing the signature of the queen, is in the Record 
OfTice at Malta. 

D D 3 


reconstructed with incredible rapidity, the magazines 
and store-houses were replenished, troops were taken 
into pay, and all denoted an eager desire to maintain, 
in a new siege, the reputation which their ancestors had 
gained in the days of La Valette. In order to carry 
out these fortifications with the greater skill, Perellos 
made an application to Louis XIV. of France, in the 
close of 1714, for the loan of some of his most celebrated 
engineers; and, in compliance with that request, the 
French monarch despatched the Chevaliers De Tign^ 
and De Mondion to Malta, who, after a minute inspec- 
tion of the works, drew up a project for their com- 
pletion, and returned to France. At the urgent 
entreaty of the Grand-Master, however, Tign^ once 
more returned to Malta, and personally superintended 
the principal portion of the work then in progress, and 
executing in accordance with his plans, which had 
received the warm approval of Vauban and other of the 
most eminent engineers in Europe.* 

The storm, however, burst in another direction, the 
Venetians being the nation called upon to bear the 
brunt of Turkish wrath. From that date till 1718, 
when peace was once more declared between these two 
belligerent powers, the Order of St. John continued to 
render the most vital assistance to Venice. So pleased 
was the pontifi^ with their exertions, that he gave the 
title of Lieutenant-general of the Papal Armament to the 
admiral of the Order, so that he might, in case of 
separation from their own chief, take the command of 
the papal levies that were acting in concert with him. 
The peace which the Venetians concluded with the 

♦ Vide Appendix No. 19. 


Turks expressly excluded the Hospitallers from its action, 
and they consequently continued their naval exploits, 
and in the following year captured two rich galleons 
laden with merchandise from Constantinople, having on 
board the pasha of Roumelia, who became their prisoner. 

In this year Perellos was taken seriously ill, his great 
age precluding all hopes of an ultimate recovery. He 
lingered, however, till the commencement of 1720, when 
he died on the 10th of January, aged eighty-four, 
having held the baton of Grand-Master for a period 
of twenty-three years. He was succeeded by Mark 
Antony Zondodari, a member of an ancient and noble 
Italian family, brother of the cardinal of that name, and 
nephew, on his mother's side, to Pope Alexander VII. 
From his earliest childhood he had been destined to 
become a Knight of St. John, and after an education at 
the Jesuits' College for the nobility at Parma, he was 
professed at Naples, and performed his caravans with 
great distinction. His career in the Order was rapid ; 
rising successively through the dignities of commander, 
and general of the galleys, he was eventually made 
master of the horse in the household of Perellos, by 
whom he was decorated with the grand cross. He was 
the ambassador chosen by that Grand-Master to bear 
his complaint against the inquisitor Delci to the court 
of Rome in 1712, which mission he accomplished most 
satisfactorily, and at the same time ingratiated himself 
very warmly with the pontiflF. 

The brief rule of this chief was marked by no event 
of magnitude. The fleet of the Order, under the bailiff 
RuflFo, continued to achieve numerous minor successes 
in the waters of the Mediterranean, and brought several 
prizes into the harbour of Malta, amongst which was 

D D 4 


the flag-ship of the Algerine navy. The Infidels, in 
fact, became so much awed at the superiority, -which the 
late additions to the fleet of Malta had given to the 
Order, that they no longer dared to scour the Mediter- 
ranean with the same impunity as of old, and were 
held almost blockaded within their ports, Zondodari 
endeavoured to carry out the reforms initiated by his 
predecessor, and even to extend them, but he found 
this a matter of no ordinary difficulty. The splendour 
and luxury which had gradually crept into the convent 
of the Order had of late years reached a culminating 
point, and, under Perellos, the grand-prior Monsieur de 
Vend&me had set the example of a magnificence quite 
princely. The Knights of St. John were members of 
noble families, mostly extremely wealthy, and from 
their childhood trained up in all the luxury suited to 
their station. Civilisation had also, since the discovery 
of the New World, made giant strides; the fine arts 
had revived from their lengthened slumber, and at the 
same time the numerous European wars, in which the 
nations of Spain, France, Germany, and Italy had in 
turn engaged, had spread this civilisation over regions 
previously semibarbarous. It was not, therefore, a 
matter of surprise, that, in the eighteenth century, Zon- 
dodari should have found himself unable to curb that 
tendency to display and grandeur which had taken so 
firm a root in the convent of the Order. This Grand- 
Master was an author, though of no great pretensions ; 
still, as he was the first chief who ever laid claim 
to that title, it is well that his labours in this line 
should be noticed. He wrote a work, entitled " Breve 
e Particolare Istruzione del sacro ordine militare degli 
Ospitaleri," which was first published in Rome in 1719, 


and afterwards reprinted in Paris in 1721. He also 
wrote a paraphrase of the 41st Psalm, which was 
likewise published. He died on the 16th of June, 1722, 
at the age of sixty-four years, of a gangrene in his 
intestines combined with erysipelas in the leg. A 
decree was passed during his reign, that every Knight 
possessing private property to the amount of 300?. 
a year should maintain a soldier in Malta to aid in its 
defence. This law was, however, never enforced, 
although it would undoubtedly have gone far towards 
supporting the garrison of the island free of expense 
to the treasury. 

Don Antony Mani3el de Vilhena, a member of the 
language of Castile, succeeded to the vacant dignity 
without opposition, his claims being so universally re- 
cognised as to have defied competition. Entering into 
the Order at an early age, he had been in 1680 in a 
naval action with the fleet of Tripoli, and had afterwards 
been named to the command of a galley, from which 
post he was raised to that of colonel of the militia of the 
island. In 1701 he was named commissary of war, 
having previously been decorated with the grand-cross, 
and in 1703 he was promoted to the dignity of grand- 
chancellor, which he subsequently vacated to become 
bailiff of Acre. 

His advent to the supreme post was almost imme- 
diately followed by a hostile demonstration against 
Malta from the Turkish fleet. A Moslem slave named 
Hali, who during ten years' captivity in Malta had en- 
joyed considerable liberty as liman or chief of the slaves, 
obtained his release by an exchange, and returned to 
Constantinople full of a design he had formed for the 
capture of Malta by means of the numerous slaves there 


imprisoned. Many of these slaves filled the offices of 
domestic servants to the members of the fraternity, and 
enjoyed a considerable amount of freedom in their inter- 
course with each other. Hali persuaded the sultan that if 
a fleet of ten vessels were despatched to Malta to support 
the enterprise, all the slaves in the island, who actually 
outnumbered the Christian population, would promptly 
rise and secure possession of the town. Tempted by the 
moderation of this demand, the sultan acceded to the 
request of the quondam slave, and in the end of June, 
1722, the hostile fleet appeared off Malta. The Order 
had, however, become aware of the plot forming against 
them, and had secured their slaves so successfully that 
all efforts to rise on their part would have been utterly 
unavailing. The Turkish commander, Abdi Agu, find- 
ing his enterprise hopeless, wrote a bombastic and brag- 
gadocio letter to the Grand-Master, but did not attempt 
any other hostile measure. 

The following is a translation of this epistle, the ori- 
ginal of which is still amongst the archives of the Order, 
dated June 28th, 1722 : — " Let it be known to the 
rulers and principal men of the island of Malta, heads 
of the council, and leading persons, both French and 
Venetian, as well as those other maraates of the religion 
of the Messiah as may happen to be in that island, that 
we have been expressly sent by the great lord and 
patron of the universe and refuge of the world, that 
you may consign and transmit to us all the slaves who 
may find themselves exposed to your bad and unholy 
government, more particularly those of St. John, in 
order that they may present themselves before his augast 
and eminent throne. And since this is his will and 
command, we have come well armed, and with the 


greatest valour inform you by this letter of our arrival 
to receive all such slaves ; and in case you make any 
difficulty in consigning the said slaves, you shall know 
and have cause to repent of it. The answer to this 
letter must be sent to Tunis." 

The council, who were anxious to obtain, if possible, 
the liberation of the Christian captives then languishing 
in the East, did not hesitate to reply to this uncourteous 
and contemptuous letter, but immediately opened a com- 
munication with the Porte through the good offices of 
Monsieur de Bonnac, the French ambassador at that 
court. In this communication the Grand-Master thus 
expressed himself on the question of slavery. " Our 
Order was not instituted for the purpose of ranging the 
seas in quest of captives, but to cruise with its arma- 
ments to protect the navigation of Christian vessels; 
and it only attacks those who obstruct commerce, and 
who, desiring to reduce Christians into captivity, deserve 
nothing better than to be made slaves themselves. I have 
nothing so much at heart as to release the Mussulman 
slaves from their chains, and if the wishes of his high- 
ness are similar, I am ready to negotiate for the reci- 
procal liberty of the captives, either by exchange or ran- 
som, according to the received custom between princes. 
His mightiness has, therefore, only to declare his inten- 
tions, which I will omit nothing to render effectual." 

Monsieur de Bonnac seconded the views of the Grand- 
Master so warmly, that a treaty was at once proposed 
and its terms fully discussed. These were very favour- 
able for Malta, so much so, indeed, as to cause a strong 
feeling of dissatisfaction to show itself amongst the offi- 
cers of the Turkish fleet. These latter possessed so 
powerful an influence over the sultan, that in deference 

412 A mSTOBY OF 

to their objections he abandoned the treaty, and there 
the matter rested. 

Manoel, warned by the cloud which had just been 
dissipated, of the danger his island might at any time 
run from a renewed descent, no sooner found himself at 
leisure, than he commenced the construction of a fort 
upon the island in the Marsa Musceit, for the greater 
protection of that post. This fort, which has ever since 
retained the name of its founder, and is still called Fort 
Manoel, commands the harbour, and acts as a protection 
to the fortifications of Valetta on that side. Prior to its 
construction, the island in question was completely open 
and undefended, aflFording a most inconvenient and proxi- 
mate point for an enemy to make a lodgment on in the 
case of a new sieore. The fort which Manoel erected 


was constructed in accordance with the design furnished 
by the Chevalier de Tign6 to the Grand-Master Perellos 
in 1717, on the occasion of his second visit to Malta.* 

Several naval combats took place between the rival 
fleets during ManoePs Grand-Mastership, but they were 
comparatively trivial, being merely encounters between 
single vessels on either side, and generally terminating 
in favour of the Order. Although unimportant in their 
results, and far inferior to the exploits of former days, 
the Pope deemed them worthy of a special mark of his 
approbation, and sent to Manoel, by the hands of one of 
his household, the consecrated sword and casque which 

* Vide estimate in Appendix No. 19, where this fort figures for a 
sum of 25,000 crowns, or 2600/., an amount ridiculously small, accord- 
ing to modem notions, for so extensive a work ; but it must be borne 
in mind that labour cost little or nothing, being principally performed 
by slaves, and that the stone excavated from the ditches formed the 


were only presented to such as had distinguished them- 
selves by memorable actions against the Infidel. The 
sword was of silver gilt, five feet in length; and the 
casque was of purple velvet, embroidered in gold, and 
enriched with an emblem of the Holy Ghost embossed 
in pearls. Both of these presents had been consecrated 
with great pomp at the festival of our Saviour's Na- 

Manoel's rule, which lasted nearly fifteen years, was 
generally prosperous, and he attained a great and de- 
served popularity for the charitable zeal which prompted 
him to found an establishment for the shelter and sup- 
port of the aged poor under his authority. He died on 
the 12th of December, 1736, having realised to a great 
extent the somewhat pompous eulogy recorded on his 
tomb : " Memento viator quod ubi gressum in his insulis 
sistes pietatis ejus munificentia^ securitatis amoenitatis 
monumenta ibi invenies." — " Remember, traveller, that 
wherever you place your foot upon this island, there 
will you find monuments of his piety, munificence, fore- 
sight, and charity." 

His successor, whose name was Raymond Despuig, 
held the baton of his office for five years, during which 
time so little of importance transpired that his history 
is best comprised in the inscription on his tomb, of 
which the following is a translation : — "Sacred to the 
memory of Brother Dom Raymond Despuig, who sprang 
from an illustrious house in Majorca, joined the valiant 
soldiers of Jerusalem, and having executed with success 
numerous charges, especially an embassy to the viceroy 
of Sicily, was afterwards created grand maitre d'h6tel, 
and commander of all the militia, and during this period 
on three several occasions fulfilled the functions of lieu- 


tenant to the Grand-Master, rendering from day to day 
great services. He was elected Grand- Master by the 
suffrages of all the Knights (even during the life of his 
predecessor) on the 16th of December, 1736. He led a 
life worthy of a religious prince, and, adding by his vir- 
tues a new splendour to so eminent a dignity, he raised 
himself above his compeers more by his example than 
by his power. He instituted an assembly to be held 
every month within this church, to which a strange 
preacher should be called, and where the people should 
meet together. He added to the ornaments of silver on 
the high altar, he had it re-covered and adorned with a 
table of marble ; and, having left behind him both here 
and elsewhere numerous other monuments of his mimi- 
ficence and of his piety, he died on the 15th of January, 
1741, aged 71 years." 

His successor was Emanuel Pinto de Fonseca, a mem- 
ber of one of the noblest families in Portugal, and bailiff 
of Acre at the time of his election. The principal event 
which occurred to break the calm and peaceful mono- 
tony of his reign was a conspiracy amongst the Turkish 
slaves in Malta, which was very nearly bathing the 
island in Christian blood. The plot originated in the 
following manner. The Christian slaves who manned 
a Turkish galley had risen upon their officers, captured 
the vessel, and brought her in triumph into the harbour 
of Malta, with the pasha of Rhodes a prisoner on board. 
This dignitary was a man in high repute at the court 
of the sultan, and the Order, fearful of drawing down 
upon themselves the virulent animosity of the Porte, 
and anxious to conciliate the court of France, who had 
latterly dissuaded them from cruising in the Levant, 
instead of subjecting him to the lot of slavery, sent him 


to the care of the French envoy in Malta, the bailiflF du 
Boccage. The pasha was treated with every attention 
and respect, a house was appropriated for his use in the 
Floriana, and a pension of 125/. monthly was allotted 
to him. Whilst residing here he was permitted to re- 
ceive the visits of such amongst the Turkish slaves as 
desired that privilege, and altogether his position was 
rendered as little irksome to him as was possible con- 
sonant with his due security as a prisoner of war. 

At the head of the conspiracy which had ended in 
the capture of the Turkish galley was a negro who had 
planned the entire affair, and who had anticipated a mag- 
nificent reward from the Order for the success of his 
enterprise. He was, however, much disappointed at 
the sum awarded to him, and his active brain speedily 
commenced to hatch a fresh plot, in which, by way of a 
counter-conspiracy, the island of Malta should be de- 
livered into the hands of the Turks. It has already 
been observed that the number of slaves in Malta was 
very large. Independently of those who were employed 
on the public works or as crews to the galleys, and who 
when on shore were lodged in the bagnio or slaves' 
prison, there were large numbers fulfilling various do- 
mestic offices about the persons not only of the Knights, 
but also of the Maltese. In fact, the greater number of 
the servants in the island were Turks. They were 
almost uniformly treated with the greatest kindness, 
and their situation was in many cases so far superior to 
what it would have been in their own country, that 
they refused their liberty even when it was tendered to 
them. Many filled situations of the highest trust in 
the household of the Grand- Master, and two who acted 
as his confidential valets slept in an adjoining room to 


himself, and had free access to his apartment both by 
day and night. 

The plot which the negro first devised, and which he 
submitted for the approval of the pasha M ustapha, was 
to organise a rising amongst this large body, to cause a 
general massacre of the Christians in the island, and 
then to transfer its government to the Porte. Mustapha, 
with the blackest ingratitude, entered warmly into the 
design; the pasha of Tripoli was communicated with, 
and promised assistance ; and the slaves generally were 
enlisted as confederates into the plot. The festival of 
St. Peter and St. Paul was selected as the most appro- 
priate day for carrying out this atrocious imitation of 
the Sicilian Vespers. On that day the great bulk of 
the native population were in the habit of flocking to 
the CittA, Notabile, where the ceremonials of the day 
were carried out with great magnificence, and it was 
thought that an opportunity would thus be the more 
readily aflForded of mastering the city of Valetta whilst 
denuded of so many of its inhabitants. One of the two 
valets about the person of Pinto was appointed to give 
the signal for the commencement of the insurrection, by 
murdering his master and exposing his head upon the 
balcony of the palace. An indiscriminate massacre was 
then to have ensued : the armoury being forced, was to 
supply arms to the conspirators, and the gates of the 
city and other commanding posts were promptly to be 
occupied by them. The forces of the pasha of Tripoli 
would join with them so soon as the successful issue of 
the enterprise was known, and with their assistance the 
island could have been easily maintained until the ar« 
rival of succours from Constantinople. Such were the 
principal details of this detestable plot, to which the 


pasha Mustapha lent the sanction of his name and 
advice, and which he, of all men, should have been the 
last to support. 

It was strange, considering how lately, at the com- 
mencement of Manoel's rule, a somewhat similar design 
had been discovered, that the slaves in Malta should 
still have been permitted such ample liberty of action. 
Considering their great numbers, and the natural dis- 
content which a condition of slavery, even in its most 
modified form, must have generated within the minds 
of many, it is wonderful that greater precautions were 
not habitually taken to prevent the possibility of any 
treachery on their part. Certain it is, that on the 
present occasion, had it not been for an accidental 
quarrel between themselves, the conspirators would 
have most undoubtedly succeeded in perpetrating the 
massacre of every member of the Order of St. John 
within the convent. The discovery of the plot was 
made thus : — A certain publichouse, kept by a Jew, 
was the principal resort of the chief actors in this 
bloody drama. One day, shortly before the period 
selected for its execution, a violent quarrel sprang up 
between two of them, and, after a fierce altercation, 
from words they proceeded to blows ; and at length one 
of the two drew a dagger, and endeavoured to stab his 
fellow, who, however, succeeded in making his escape 
unhurt, but vowing vengeance. In the blindness of his 
rage he proceeded instantly to the commandant of the 
guard, and revealed the entire plot. That officer lost 
not a moment in communicating with the Grand- 
Master, and took with him the faithless conspirator. 

Meanwhile, however, the Jew keeper of the public- 
house where the quarrel had originated, who was also 

VOL. ir. E £ 

418 A niSTOUY OF 

a member of the plot, having heard the vows of ven- 
geance which had been uttered on that occasion, became 
alarmed, and fearing lest the discontented man might 
reveal the whole tale, determined to forestal him, and 
to ensure his own safety and reward by instantly him- 
self betraying the affair to the Grand- Master. Whai, 
therefore, De Vignier, with his conspirator, sought an 
audience of Pinto, they found him engaged in listeniog 
to the tale of the Jew. The matter being thus co^ 
roborated, energetic steps were at once taken to crush 
the affair. Numbers of the conspirators were arrested 
and subjected to torture, and by degrees the whole 
design gradually leaked out. 

A similar plot had been formed on board the galleys 
of the Order, which was to have been carried into ex- 
ecution on the same day ; but a swift boat was at once 
sent after them, and the warning arrived in time to 
prevent any rising. The criminality of the pasha was 
clearly proved, together with the fact that he had cor- 
responded with Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Constanti- 
nople on the subject. As, however, he had been placed 
under the protection of the French ambassador, the 
Order did not deem it prudent to proceed to extremities 
against him, but confined him in Fort St. Elmo, until a 
French frigate arrived from Toulon, on board of which 
he was conveyed to Constantinople. It was, however, 
with extreme difficulty that they succeeded in saving 
him ; for the Maltese were so justly incensed against 
him for his share in the diabolical design, that had he 
not been securely guarded they would have torn him in 
pieces. Nearly sixty of the leading plotters suffered 
the last penalty of the law on this occasion ; and in 
order to prevent the recurrence of such a design, it was 


decreed that for the future all slaves employed in a 
domestic capacity in the houses of Knights or citizens, 
should be compelled to retire to the bagnio every 
evening at sunset, and remain in confinement there 
until the next morning. The Jew, by whose double 
treachery the discovery had been made, was rewarded 
with a handsome pension, and from that time the anni- 
versary of the day was regularly celebrated, so long as 
the Order remained in Malta. 

The second expulsion of the Jesuits from Malta was 
the only other domestic event of importance which 
marked the sway of Pinto. This decree was carried 
out through the intervention of the marquis of Pombal, 
prime minister to the king of Portugal, and the mar- 
quis Tannuci, regent of the Two Sicilies, during the 
minority of Ferdinand IV., and was shortly afterwards 
followed in almost every kingdom in Europe. The 
sway of Pinto was very popular amongst his subjects, 
and his name is still revered in Malta as a wise and 
energetic prince. At the same time he was undoubtedly 
far more despotic than any of his predecessors, and 
encroached materially on that liberty which the Order 
had permitted to their subjects under former chiefs. 
The leading features of his government were, however, 
salutary, and if he ruled the Maltese with an iron hand 
they did not the less respect him. 

Their naval superiority had, during these years, 
dwindled imperceptibly, and their fleet was now be- 
coming more an appanage for show than for real service. 
The Ottoman empire had almost ceased to cause un- 
easiness in Europe. Her navy was no longer spreading 
terror along the coasts of the Mediterranean; and 
so the caravans of the Maltese galleys, finding no 

B E 2 


foe worthy of the name, degenerated into mere pleasure 
cruises to the various ports in the south of Europe. 
Sonnini, in his travels in Egypt, gives the followiug 
description of the Maltese galleys at this period: — 
" They were armed, or rather embarrassed, with an 
incredible number of hands, the general alone (or flag 
ship of the Order) had eight hundred men on board. 
They were superbly ornamented, gold blazed on the 
numerous basso-relievos, and sculptures on the stern; 
enormous sails, striped with blue and white, carried on 
their middle a great cross of Malta painted red. Their 
elegant flags floated majestically. In a word, every- 
thing concurred when they were under sail to render 
it a magnificent spectacle. But their construction was 
little adapted either for fighting or for standing foul 
weather. The Order kept them up rather as an image 
of its ancient splendour than for their utility. It was 
one of those ancient institutions which had once served 
to render the brotherhood illustrious, but now only 
attested its selfishness and decay." The truth of this 
description was, alas, incontestable, and they had 
Reached that stage of decline that it only required a 
bold hand, or a national convulsion, to sweep them 
away from the scene of action altogether. 

The fatal day was rapidly approaching which was to 
witness this consummation, but it was to occur whilst 
the Order of St. John was directed by other and far 
feebler hands than those of Emanuel Pinto, who died 
on the 25th of January 1773, at the advanced age of 
ninety-two years. His character was of that firm and 
determined cast, that had he been at the head of his 
fraternity twenty-five years later, he might perchance 
have warded ofi^ the blow which was then struck. The 


following speech of his marks well the despotic tendency 
of his ideas of government. " If I were king of France, 
I would never convoke the states-general ; if I were the 
Pope, I would never assemble a council; being the 
chief of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, I 
will have no general chapters. I know too well that 
these assemblies almost always finish by destroying the 
rights of those who have permitted their assembly." 
Jealous of his rank, which he sustained with dignity, 
and with a regal magnificence, he claimed for his am- 
bassadors at foreign courts the prerogatives of those 
who represented the monarchs of Europe, and for him- 
self demanded the title of Most Eminent Highness, 
whereas his predecessors had all been contented with 
that of Eminence. 

An anecdote is told of him which, whilst it by no 
means reflects to the credit of his honesty, marks the 
power he had attained, to have permitted its execution 
with impunity. An institution had been formed in 
Malta, on the principle of a friendly society, the funds 
of which were devoted to the purchase of masses for the 
souls of those who, having been members of the society 
during their lifetime, were afterwards supposed to be in 
purgatory. Of this fund Pinto succeeded in obtaining 
the trust, and under his fostering management it gra- 
dually melted away. When taken with his last illness, 
questions began to be asked touching this fund, and a 
deputation waited upon him for some explanations con- 
cerning its whereabouts. Being introduced into his 
presence, and having explained the cause of their un- 
seasonable intrusion, Pinto boldly avowed having spent 
the entire sum ; " But," added he, " be not distressed, 
my brethren, I shall myself shortly be in the samo 

B B 8 


situation with your friends, and I promise you I will 
make matters all smooth with them when I get there." 

Franjois Ximenes, grand-prior of NaTarre, and 
seneschal to Pinto, was, at his death, nominated to 
succeed him, and swayed the baton of Grand-Master fer 
two years. During that brief period, however, he con- 
trived to render himself universally unpopular and 
obnoxious, more especially to the ecclesiastics of the 
island. He was a man of the most haughty demeanour 
and uncourteous address, and by the rude asperities of his 
conduct he rapidly alienated the affections of all classes. 
The priests were chiefly irritated against him owing to 
a law which he passed restricting the license with which 
they were permitted to indulge in field sports, and 
other worldly amusements; whilst the lower orders 
complained bitterly of a tax which he laid upon bread 
to raise funds for the liquidation of the debts contracted 
by the university, under the rule of his predecessor. 

General discontent having thus been generated, a plot 
was hatched and carried into execution, principally by 
the priests of the island. Availing themselves of a time 
when the galleys were engaged in a blockade of Algiers, 
oathe 1st of September 1775, the conspirators succeeded 
in surprising the guard at St. Elmo, and captured the 
fort itself, making prisoners of the garrison, which con- 
sisted of a couple of hundred of the Grand-Master's 
guard. They also seized upon one of the cavaliers within 
the town, and then called upon the inhabitants generally 
to join them in expelling the Order. Great as most 
undoubtedly was the influence of the priesthood over 
the minds of the population, and widely spread as was 
the general discontent, no movement was made to second 
the violent measures which had been adopted ; and the 


conspirators soon discovered that they would have to 
fight their battle unaided. Of course, under these cir- 
cumstances, the issue could not long remain doubtful. 
In spite of the most fearful threats on their part of 
blowing up the powder magazines, and thus involving 
themselves and the town generally in one common ruin, 
they made little or no resistance to the force which was 
speedily brought against them by the bailifi^ De Rohan. 
St. Elmo was retaken, 400 of the conspirators cap- 
tured, and tranquillity was, in consequence, speedily re- 
stored. A few of the ringleaders were executed, and 
several more condemned to perpetual imprisonment. 
When the French army entered the city in 1798, several 
of these captives were still living, and regained their free- 
dom after an incarceration of twenty-three years. 

Various rumours were generated as to the origin of 
the plot, and its ultimate design. Many boldly averred 
that Russian influence was at the bottom of the whole 
affair. It was well known that that empire was most 
anxious to obtain a footing in the Mediterranean ; and the 
island of Malta, if attainable, would indubitably have 
proved a most valuable acquisition to them. The mar- 
quis De Cavalcado, minister to Catherine 11. , was men- 
tioned as the concocter of the plot, the design of which 
was to have been the expulsion of the Order, and the 
transfer of the island to the Russian crown. This, how- 
ever, was strenuously contradicted by him, and has never 
been in any way substantiated. In fact, the subsequent 
conduct of Russia towards the Order has been such as 
to render it diflScult to conceive she could have devised 
so cruel a blow to its existence only a few years 

Whatever may have been the causes, and whoever 

i: B 4 


were the fomenters of this sedition, the double danger 
through which the island had, within the last few years, 
passed, alarmed the court of France; and in order to 
prevent any future attempts of a similar character, they 
induced the Grand-Master and council to establish a 
new battalion of 1200 men for the protection of Valetta, 
of which at least two-thirds were to be foreigners. Thb 
regiment was raised at Marseilles, Naples, and Grenoa, 
and continued to exist until 1795. Ximenes did not 
long survive this affair ; for the annoyance and anxiety 
it created threw him into a serious illness, from which 
he never rallied, but died on the 11th of November 
1775, after a rule of a little less than three years, at the 
age of seventy-two. 

Fran9ois- Marie des Neiges Emmanuel de Rohan- 
Polduc, a French Knight of ancient lineage, was by 
unanimous consent and acclamation raised to the vacant 
dignity. His father having been condemned for treason, 
had succeeded in making his escape into Spain, where 
his son Emmanuel was born, on the 10th of April 1721. 
The youth entered into the service of the Spanish mo- 
narch, but anxious to revisit his native land, he eventually 
threw up his appointments at that court and returned to 
France. Being the only surviving son of his father, his 
first endeavour was to obtain a restoration of his forfeited 
rights, and for this purpose he presented himself at 
court. Here, the princess De Mareau influenced herself 
warmly in his behalf, and it was by her persuasion that 
he was induced to enter the Order of St. John. She 
afterwards used her interest to have him raised to the 
dignity of a grand-cross, and elected to the oflBce of 
general of the galleys, which he held until his nomina* 
tion to the supreme dignity. 


Since the death of Vignacourt, in 1697, no French 
Knight had been raised to the Grand-Mastership, and 
the three languages composing that nation celebrated 
the nomination of Rohan with the most brilliant festi- 
vities. His first care, upon assuming the reins of 
government, was to complete and establish the regiment 
organised by his predecessor for the protection of 
Valetta, after which he at once proceeded to convoke a 
general chapter. A period of a hundred and fifty-five 
years had elapsed since the last meeting of this assembly, 
and Rohan, who did not deem the powers intrusted to 
him by the council sufficient for the position in which 
the fraternity was placed, once more called into exis- 
tence this venerable parliament of the Order. The 
statutes were revised, and additional stringency given 
to many of the prohibitions, particularly those relating 
to duelling, gambling, and prostitution, but on the 
whole the chapter effected but little worthy of the 
name of reform ; and when, at the close of its sixteen 
days' session, it was dissolved never again to re-assemble, 
it left the code of the Order very much in the same 
position as it found it. Rohan, however, himself insti- 
tuted many beneficial measures within the convent. 
He established public schools, and made several most 
judicious alterations in the courts of law. 

Whilst thus endeavouring to reform the internal 
administration of his government, Rohan was by no 
means neglectful of its external policy. The Order of 
St. Anthony, as ancient an institution as that of St. 
John, was incorporated with it, and its property divided 
between the latter Order and that of St. Lazarus. In 
1781, however, the entire property was transferred to 
the Knights of Malta, who thus became possessed of a 


considerable augmentation to their resources. In 1782 
also, a new language was created in Bavaria, and joined 
to the extinct language of England under the title of 
Anglo-Bavarian. This new division was, by the elector 
of Bavaria, endowed with the forfeited possessions of 
the Jesuits, who had been suppressed in that country as 
elsewhere. The value of this additional revenue was 
15,000/. a year, and the assessment of responsions was 
calculated upon this sum. The dignities of Turcopolier 
and grand-prior of Bavaria were attached to this new 
language, which comprised twenty commanderies for 
Knights of justice, and four for conventual chaplains. In 
Poland, Rohan succeeded in obtaining the restoration of 
some property with which the Order had been originally 
endowed by a prince of the family of Sangaszko, but of 
which it had subsequently been deprived. By the 
negociations and personal exertions of the bailiff Di 
Sagramoso, this property was once more restored. 

Rohan was interrupted in the midst of these reforms 
by a calamity which occurred in 1783, and which filled 
the southern provinces of Europe with consternation. 
A fearful earthquake ravaged Sicily and Calabria, from 
the effects of which whole cities were prostrated, and 
thousands of the inhabitants engulphed in the ruins. 
Those who escaped a cruel death were left houseless and 
destitute, and a cry of misery at once arose on every 
side. Much as the Order of St. John had degenerated 
from the Knightly virtues which had of yore adorned 
it, there still remained within its pale a remnant of its 
ancient charitable functions, which this calamity at 
once called into active operation. The galleys were, 
at the time the intelligence reached Malta, laid up 
in ordinary for the winter, but so great was the zeal 


and energy displayed by all classes, that in a single 
night they were got ready for sea, and stored with 
everything likely to be of service to the unfortunate 
sufferers who had survived the calamity. They first 
touched at Reggio, where they landed one-half of the 
supplies which they had brought with them. They 
then proceeded onward to Messina, intending there to 
distribute the remainder. On their arrival, however, 
they were informed by the commandant, that the king 
had already provided for the wants of his people, and 
he refused to receive what the Knights had brought, 
from a pitiful feeling of unwillingness to place himself 
under any obligation to the fraternity. The galleys, 
therefore, returned to Reggio, where ihey landed the 
remainder of their supplies ; and where no false and 
ridiculous notions of pride were allowed to interfere 
with the relief of the unfortunate sufferers. 

The Order of Malta might, at this moment, have been 
considered in a position of the greatest prosperity. Its 
territories had been latterly considerably enlarged; a 
new language had been added, to replace that lost by 
the defalcation of England. Its revenues were large, 
and its ranks were recruited from amongst the noblest 
families in Europe, who brought with them all the in- 
fluence inseparable from high family connections. Their 
chief was a man of lofty principles and enlarged mind. 
He had introduced into the convent reforms and ame** 
liorations, the benefits of which had already commenced 
to display themselves, and he was by all classes beloved, 
as well for the personal urbanity of his demeanour, as 
for the paternal solicitude of his administration. Pro- 
found peace reigned between the fraternity and its 
ancient foes. If, owing to this cause, the military 


ardour of the Knights was growing somewhat rusty, 
and if the galleys, in their cumbrous ornamentation, 
cruised in the Mediterranean more in the guise of a 
pleasure trip than a warlike demonstration, still the 
tranquillity of the age brought with it many and sub- 
stantial blessings to the island of Malta, and permitted 
the treasury to devote its energies to other and more 
beneficial purposes than equipments and expeditions. 

The island was bristling on every side with ramparts 
and guns. Manoel had, as already mentioned, esta- 
blished an extensive fort on the island, which has since 
borne his name. Rohan, following his example, and 
tempted perhaps by the immortality which that act had 
bestowed upon his predecessor, had determined on a like 
measure, and a new fort arose upon the extremity of 
land, hitherto known by the name of Point Dragut, and 
which, in conjunction with Fort Ricasoli on the opposite 
point, completely defended the entrance to both harbours. 
If Rohan designed by this construction to perpetuate 
his name, he failed in the attempt, since the work 
received the title of Fort Tigne, being named after 
the grand-prior of Champagne, who had contributed 
largely towards the expense of its construction. It has 
been alleged, and with considerable justice, that there 
was as much of ostentation as of precaution in many of 
these later erections, and the Duke of Rovigo ex- 
pressed himself very justly when he observed that 
" all the Grand-Masters, since the establishment of the 
Order in Malta, seemed to have craved no other title of 
glory than that of having added some new defence 
either to the harbours or town. Being the sole care of 
the government, it had ended in becoming a pure matter 
of ostentation, and fortifications were latterly erected in 


Malta, very mucli on the same principles as palaces at 
Rome have been, since the chair of St. Peter has replaced 
on that point the throne of the Caesars." 

The quiet and apparent prosperity which at this 
period shone upon the Order, was but the calm usually 
the forerunner of a storm, and there were at this mo- 
ment gathering on the political horizon of France 
clouds which foretold the commencement of that revo- 
lutionary hurricane which was to deluge Europe with 
blood for twenty years, and the first gust of which was 
to sweep the Order of St* John for ever from that island 
stronghold in the ramparts of which so many successive 
chiefs had placed their pride and reliance. 

430 A nisTOST or 



STRCCnOSr of the FRESCH languages. death op BOHAir AJED 






The history of the causes which, by slow but sure de- 
grees, brought on that fearful convulsion in France, in 
the midst of whose throes the Order of St. John was 
doomed to destruction, does not enter into the compass 
of this work. That revolution has become an integral 
and most important point in the general history of 
Ilurope ; changing as it did the aspect of politics in every 
country, and bringing in its train the curse and misery 
of those sanguinary and desperate wars, which marked 
the first fifteen years of the present century. It will 
only be necessary here to allude to such points in the 
history of that eventful epoch as bear directly upon the 
fortunes of the Order of St. John. 

The property of the fraternity within the limits of the 
French kingdom was at this period, as indeed had ever 
been the case, managed with a prudence and skill which 
rendered it a model to surrounding proprietors ; and it 
was a recognised and admitted fact, that nowhere 


throughout the kingdom was land so carefully culti- 
vated and brought to jdeld so large an increase as that 
under the management of the Hospital. It was natural, 
therefore, that at a time when general spoliation had 
become a received maxim with the revolutionary party, 
these tempting acquisitions should attract their cupidity. 
The institution of the Hospital was in itself far too 
aristocratic in constitution to avoid the wrath and an- 
tagonism of the sans culottes j whose savage cry of "^ bos 
les aristocrats^^ was reverberating throughout France. 
Everything, therefore, marked the institution as one of 
the earliest and most fitting victims to revolutionary 
fury and popular clamour. 

Nor had their conduct during the few years which 
actually preceded the subversion of the monarchy, been 
such as was at all likely to conciliate the animosity of 
the dominant faction. When Necker, the finance 
minister of Louis XVI., demanded a voluntary contri- 
bution of the third part of the revenue of every pro- 
prietor, the Order of St. John were the first to come 
forward with their share ; and, when afterwards the 
unfortunate monarch, reduced to a state of extreme 
destitution, besought assistance from their treasury, they 
pledged their credit for the sum of 500,000 francs, to 
aid him in his futile effort at flight. No amount of 
diplomacy could therefore avert the fate impending over 
an institution which had added to the crime of being 
wealthy, that also of fidelity to the sovereign. The 
steps by which this act of spoliation was consummated 
were quickly taken, and met with no effectual resistance 
on the part of the destined victims. In the first con- 
stituent assembly the Order of St. John had been 
defined as placed in the position of a foreign power 


possessing property within the limits of the French 
kingdom ; and as such, was subjected to all the taxes 
imposed upon that kingdom. This first step was soon 
followed by a decree, enacting that any Frenchman 
becoming member of an order of knighthood, requiring 
proofs of nobility, should no longer be regarded as a 
French citizen. 

These preliminary steps being taken, the grand blow 
was struck on the 19th of September 1792, when it was 
enacted, that the Order of Malta should cease to exist 
within the limits of France, and that all its property 
should become annexed to the national domains. At 
first, mention was made of an indemnification, in the 
shape of pensions, to be granted to the Knights who 
were thus dispossessed of their property ; but the power 
of deriving benefit from this supposed concession was 
utterly taken away from the unfortunate victims by 
the condition upon which it was granted, that in order 
to entitle a Knight to his pension, he must reside withia 
the French territories ; an utter impossibility in a coun- 
try where the smallest pretensions to gentle blood were 
visited by the most cruel persecution. 

The enactment of this decree was followed by a general 
plunder of the various commanderies ; and such members 
of the Order as were not fortunate enough to eflfect their 
escape from the country were thrown into prison, and 
left to the fearful suspense incident to those dens of 
horror. During this scene of anarchy and bloodshed, 
the members of the fraternity comported themselves with 
a firmness and a dignity worthy of their institution. 
The ambassador of the Order at Paris, the bailiflf De la 
Brilhane, fulfilled his difficult and dangerous duties till 
the very close with unexampled determination. It was 


impossible that he could thus boldly endeavour to siem 
the clamour of popular wrath, without incurring that 
personal danger which the odium of his opponents 
naturally brought with it. He was warned by M. 
de Montmorin that his life was in the most imminent 
peril, owing to the noble and daring exertions he had 
made in defending the cause, hopeless as it was, of his 
Order. " I am under no apprehensions," replied he, 
" for the moment has now arrived when a man of 
honour, who faithfully performs his duty, may die as 
gloriously upon the scaffold as on the field of battle." 
After his death, which occurred suddenly shortly after- 
wards, the Order did not fill his place ; and he was, 
consequently, the last accredited envoy that they ever 
possessed within the French kingdom. 

Great as had been their provocation, they did not 
break entirely with the French directory, nor did they 
openly join the forces of those who sought to crush the 
dreadful outbreak. A temporising policy appears to 
have been their chief aim, and in this they certainly did 
not act with much prudence or discrimination. They 
might have rested quite assured that no concessions or 
no amount of open neutrality would lead those who had 
destroyed their Order in France to regard : themselves 
with a more favourable eye. Their principles were all 
monarchical, and averse to the changes which had taken 
place ; and the knowledge of this fact could not have 
been concealed from the directory. They had so far 
avowed their sentiments, and revealed their sympathies 
with the fallen monarch of France, that on the arrival 
of the intelligence of his execution, a funeral service 
was performed in the church of St. John, at which 
Rohan presided ; the nave of the church was hung with 

VOL. ir. F F 


black, and the fraternity in deep mourning offered up 
their prayers for the soul of him who had been thus 
basely sacrificed to the evil passions of his foes. 

Had they openly and unreservedly thrown the whole 
weight of their influence into the scale of the alliance, 
by which the progress of the revolution was sought to 
be stayed, they could not have reduced themselves to a 
worse position than that which their timid and tem- 
porising policy brought upon them ; and had they been 
unsuccessful in their efforts, they would at least have 
had the consolation of acting in a noble and disinte- 
rested manner ; one indeed suited to the feelings and 
dictates of an institution based on the principles of 
honour which formed the foundation of the Order of 
St. John. 

Their chief was, indeed, unsuited for the perilous 
crisb in which he was placed, and physical incapacity 
had latterly intervened to break down his energy and 
spirit. In 1791 he had had a stroke of apoplexy which, 
at the time, it was thought must have ended fatally, but 
from which he recovered indeed, without, however, 
regaining that energy of mind, and that dauntless reso- 
lution, so necessary for the crisis through which he was 
called to guide the fortunes of his Order. His last days 
were clouded with the certainty that a speedy and 
inevitable destruction awaited his community, and that 
events were rapidly tending to that consummation. 

The numbers of homeless destitute Frenchmen who 
flocked to Malta, desiring admission into the ranks of the 
Order, greatly increased the general poverty of the trea- 
sury, and the utmost efforts of the Grand-Master, nobly 
seconded though he was by the languages who had 
escaped confiscation, were unable to relieve so universal 


a misery. The conduct of Rohan, under these painful 
and trying circumstances, was certainly most praise- 
worthy. Being remonstrated with by an officer of his 
household for the extent of his charities, which his 
diminished resources no longer admitted, without cur- 
tailing the dignity of his court, he replied, "Reserve one 
crown daily for the expenses of my table, and let all the 
rest be distributed amongst my distressed brethren." 

The worst had not, however, as yet arrived, though 
the day was near at hand for the fatal blow to be struck. 
The directory had for some time looked with longing 
eyes upon the island of Malta, crowned as it was with 
fortifications unexcelled in their stupendous magnitude 
throughout Europe, and had determined, if possible, to 
expel the Order from their home, and attach it to the 
French territories. Unable to succeed by force of arms, 
they endeavoured to accomplish their designs by treach- 
ery, and, ere long, spies and emissaries were hard at 
work within the convent and island generally, sowing 
those seeds of discontent and turbulence which were, 
ere long, to bear so baneful a fruit. The government 
of Rohan must certainly be much blamed for the blind- 
ness which permitted this open tampering with the fide- 
lity of its subjects ; and it appeared as though, by some 
unaccountable fatality, the supineness of the fraternity 
themselves was destined to aid the nefarious designs of 
their enemies. 

In the midst of these gloomy presages, and at the 
worst crisis of the danger, Rohan was seized with that 
last illness from which he was not destined to rally. 
One of his last acts was to despatch to the court of 
Russia the bailiff Count de Litta to demand assistance 
and support for his tottering institution. He did not, 

p p 2 


however, live to witness the return of his envoy, ha™ 
breathed his last on the 13th of July 1797. 

Opinions have been much divided with regard to tli 
chief. Weak-minded he certainly was, and during tl 
latter years of his life his physical infirmities material! 
augmented his mental incapacities. A craving forSa 
tery and adulation had caused hira to seek the sodel 
of those who were willing to gratify these weakness 
in preference to that of men of greater worth and honou 
These appear, however, to be the principal faults whit 
his enemies could justly lay to his charge ; aod i 
counterbalance them, his life, both public and privat 
was adorned with many virtues, and secured him tl 
attachment and esteem of many sincere friends. 
surpassing goodness of heart, an open-handed generosit 
a dauntless courage, a mind adorned with the mo 
profound learning, a quick and ready wit, such were 
few of the principal qualifications which attracted i 
his favour ^I who were brought into contact with hit 
Had his lot not been cast in such troublous time 
and had he ruled his Order under more favourab 
auspices, he would doubtless have been revered as oi 
of the wisest governors who had ever swayed the 

Numerous most beneficial reforms had been intrt 
duced under his direction, and the code of laws whic 
he established, and which is still recognised and aetei 
on in the island of Malta, under the title of the Cod 
Rohan, attests the clearness of his intellect. To bin 
the island is indebted for the building now used as i 
public library and museum, and he also built an obser 
vatory on the top of his palace, for the purpose o, 
recording meteorological observations, deeming, witli 


much justice, that in a climate so pure and calm, with 
so clear a sky and so extended an horizon, circumstances 
were most favourable for such an establishment. This 
building was, however, destroyed by lightning shortly 
after its erection, and it was not until the government 
of Sir William Reid, whose scientific attainments and 
previous meteorological researches had rendered him 
the fittest instrument for such a restoration, that the 
establishment of Rohan was once more brought into 
active operation. 

Ferdinand Joseph Antoine Herman Louis de Hom- 
pesch, to whose name is attached the melancholy dis- 
tinction of having been the last Grand-Master of Malta, 
was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of 
Rohan. He was the first Knight of the German lan- 
guage who had ever been raised to that ofiice, and it 
has since been most undeservedly made a reproach 
against that language generally, that the solitary chief 
whom they furnished to the Order should so weakly 
and pusillanimously have betrayed its rights and 
interests. It is said, that during his last moments 
Rohan demanded of those who were standing round his 
bed who was to be his successor. He was told that the 
bailiff De Hompesch appeared the most probable candi- 
date. " The German," remarked Rohan, " is not a bad 
selection, provided he is well advised, but he is not the 
man for this crisis, and I shall be the last Grand-Master 
of an illustrious and independent Order." The result 
proved the correctness of this prophecy on the part of 
the dying prince. 

It is averred that Hompesch did not desire the dignity 
of Grand-Master, and that it was with difficulty that he 
was persuaded to allow himself to be named as a candi- 

r F 3 


date. This fact can scarcely be reconciled with that 
which is well known, that he expended a large sum of 
money to secure his election, and was ever after hampered 
with the debts thus created. The career of Hompesch 
had up to this moment reflected credit upon his name, 
nor had he hitherto shown his deficiencies in all those 
more important qualities essential for the head of the 
Order at that critical moment. He had commenced his 
life as a page to Grand-Master Pinto, and had reached the 
dignity of a grand-cross at a very early age, probably 
owing to his high connections, being sprung from one 
of the noblest families of the Lower Rhine. For twenty- 
five years he resided at the court of Vienna, as ambas- 
sador to the Order, and at the expiration of that period 
he was made grand-bailiff of Brandenburg, chief of the 
Anglo-Bavarian language. He was the youngest Grand- 
Master that had been known for centuries, the electors 
having usually nominated candidates of great age to the 
post, whereas Hompesch, having been born in 1744, 
was only 53 years old at the death of Rohan. 

His rule opened with a brief gleam of prosperity from 
the favourable dispositions of the Russian emperor to- 
wards the fraternity. It has already been mentioned 
that the bailiff Count de Litta was despatched by 
Rohan to St. Petersburg, to solicit the protection of 
Catherine II. for the Order, and more especially for its 
Polish possessions, which the late partition of that king- 
dom had thrown into the power of Russia. Catherine, 
however, had died before De Litta reached St. Peters- 
burg, and Paul I. had assumed the Russian diadem. 
The young emperor had always expressed himself an en- 
thusiastic admirer of the Order of St. John, and now 
when the opportunity was afforded him of giving a 


practical proof of the sincerity of his friendship, he 
nobly redeemed the pledges of his youth. The late 
Polish priory was largely augmented, and converted 
into a Russian priory, with a revenue of 300,000 florins, 
or about 7500Z. This priory was to be divided into ten 
commanderies for Knights and three for chaplains, and 
was incorporated into the Anglo-Bavarian language. 

The ambassador, De Litta, who was most anxious 
that intelligence of the successfiil issue of his mission 
should reach Malta as rapidly as possible, despatched a 
special courier from St. Petersburg, with the parti- 
culars of the arrangements which had been made by the 
emperor. This courier was seized at Ancona by the 
French army, then invading Italy, and his despatches 
opened by Bonaparte, who forwarded their contents to 
the directory, by whom they were published ; and it 
was through this channel that the Order in Malta first 
learnt the favourable termination of the negotiation. 
Hompesch immediately assembled a council to ddiberate 
on the offers of the emperor ; it is scarcely necessary 
to add, they were warmly and gratefully accepted. 

The Bailiff de Litta was in consequence named am- 
bassador extraordinary to the imperial court of St. 
Petersburg, and made his public entry into that city in 
his new capacity, on the 27th of November 1797. On 
the Sunday following, viz. the 29th of November, the 
emperor, the empress, the various scions of the imperial 
family, and also the young and exiled French prince, De 
Cond^, were decorated with the grand-cross of the 
Order, that presented to the emperor being the identical 
one worn by the illustrious La Valette. He also as- 
sumed the title of Pbotectob of the Order of Malta, 

r r 4 


and subsequent events have proved that he warmly de- 
served the name. 

In the council of Rastadt, opened in the end of 1797, 
it was proposed to combine the Order of Malta with the 
Teutonic Knights, but the project fell to the ground in 
the midst of the other more important matters then 
under consideration. Indeed, there was so general a 
feeling amongst the revolutionary party in favour of an 
utter destruction of both fraternities, that no measure 
tending to strengthen either of them was likely to prove 
acceptable. At length opened that year which was to 
prove the last in which the Order of St. John was to 
remain master of the island over which they had for two 
centuries and a half ruled so beneficially to the inhabi- 
tants and to Christianity at large. The treasury was at 
this moment in an alarming state of deficit ; most of its 
revenues had been confiscated, or were unavailable; the 
plate and jewels had mostly been melted down and 
disposed of; and but little remained to defray the ex- 
penditure so necessary for maintaining the island in a 
proper state of defence. 

At this time there were present in the convent the 
following Knights of the Order : viz., 200 of the three 
French languages, 90 Italians, 25 Spanish, 8 Portu- 
guese, 4 German, and 5 Anglo-Bavarian, making a total 
of 332; of these (vnly 280 were, from age and other 
causes, capable of bearing arms. The garrison of Malta 
consisted of the Maltese regiment of 500 men ; the 
Grand-Master's guard, numbering 200; the battalion 
for the men-of-war, which consisted of 400 ; that for the 
galleys, of 300 ; gunners, 100 ; the militia regiment of 
chasseurs, 1200 ; and the sailors who formed the crews 
of both galleys and men-of-war, 1200 in number ; making 


a total of 3300 men, to which might be added 3000 of 
the militia of the island, on whom, under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, the Order might count to do faithful ser- 
vice, and who during the celebrated siege of 1565 had 
greatly distinguished themselves. 

A vast armament had been, throughout the early part 
of 1798, assembling in the French ports, whose ultimate 
destination remained a matter of the most complete 
mystery, filling the entire of Europe with consternation 
and uncertainty. The advanced squadron of this fleet 
appeared oflf Malta on the 6th of June, commanded by 
the Commodore Sidoux, and consisted of eighteen sail. 
One of these, a sixty-gun frigate, was admitted into the 
harbour for repairs, the remainder lying at anchor out- 
side ; and every eflbrt was made by the Order to testify 
their strict neutrality and readiness to offer hospitality 
and assistance, as well to the French as to the other 
powers whose armaments might touch their shores. On 
the 9th of June the main body of the fleet appeared, 
bearing with it the French army, whose destination was 
now known to be Egypt, and which was commanded by 
the already celebrated General Bonaparte. The mask 
was now thrown off, the moment had arrived when the 
directory, who had long been casting their eyes upon 
the island of Malta as an acquisition of the utmost value 
to France, had determined to carry their project into 
execution, and Bonaparte was not the man to fail them 
in any design calculated for the aggrandisement of the 
country and the heightening of his own renown. 

He instantly despatched an envoy to the Grand- 
Master, demanding free entrance into the great harbour 
for the entire fleet. This demand Hompesch had the 
prudence and firmness to resist, and had he maintained 


as bold an attitude to the end he might hare savedlui 
island. His reply to Bonaparte was, that such an kI 
would be a breach of the neutrality which, by the coa> 
Btitutioo of his Order, he was bound to maintaiD, bat 
that the vessels might enter to the number of fooriti 
time. This reply was amply sufficient for the FrojiJ 
general, who only required a pretext for the measured 
spoliation upon which he had long- since detenniiKd 
and by his direction the French consul, who on lb 
arrival of the fleet had left, the town and taken up bi 
quarters on board ship, in itself an ominous circun 
stance, wrote the following letter to the Grand-Master 
" Having been appointed to go on board the adminl 
ship with the reply of your serene highness to tl 
request of the French that their squadron might wat 
in your ports; I am directed to say that the Fren 
general is highly indignant that only four vessels shou 
be permitted to enter at a time for that purpose; as 
would, under such restrictions, take a considerable tii 
for four or five hundred sail to be provided with wab 
and the other articles of which the squadron is in abi 
lute want. The general is yet the more surprised 
your refusal, since he is perfectly well acquainted, n 
only with the permission granted to the English flo 
but also with the proclamation issued by your big 
ness's predecessor. The general has, therefore, d 
termined to obtain by force what should have bet 
granted to him by the principles of hospitality whic 
form the basis of your Order. So considerable are tfc 
forces under his command that it will be utterly in 
possible for your Order to resist them. Such beui 
the case, it was greatly to be wished that your highnej 
had, upon so important an occasion, through love fc 


your Order and for the people at large, proposed some 
means of accommodation. The general would not 
permit me to return to a city which he will be com- 
pelled in future to treat as an enemy, and which will 
now have no resource left save in his generosity. He 
has, however, given strict orders that the religion, 
customs, and property of the Maltese shall be most 
scrupulously respected." 

That the attack upon Malta was simply the result of 
the Grand- Master's refusal to admit the entire French 
fleet into his harbours at the same time could not for 
one moment be credited, although that was the pretext 
which Bonaparte and the directory openly alleged for 
so wanton an aggression on their part. The affair had 
been organised before the French expedition had left 
Toulon, and the Grand-Master had even received notifi- 
cation to that effect. The bailiff De Schenau, who had 
acted as envoy of the Order at the congress of Rastadt, 
wrote in cypher a letter to Hompesch, couched in the 
following terms : — " I warn your eminence that the 
expedition which is preparing at Toulon is directed 
against Malta and Egypt. I have it from the private 
secretary of M. Treilhard, one of the ministers of 
the French republic. You will be most certainly 
attacked ; take, therefore, such measures as are 
necessary for your defence. The ministers of all 
the powers in alliance with the Order are warned as 
well as myself; but they know that the fortress of 
Malta is impregnable, or at all events that it can resist 
for three months. Let your eminent highness take 
warning therefore. Both your own honour and the 
preservation of the Order are at stake. If you yield 
without a defence you will be disgraced in the eyes of 


all Europe. Here this expedition is looked upon as 
likely to prove a disgrace to Bonaparte. He has two 
powerful enemies in the directory who have taken ad- 
vantage of this opportunity to get rid of him — Rewbell 
and Lar^v^illfere-Lepaux." 

This warning had passed unheeded by Hompesch, 
who till the latest moment believed that his island would 
not be attacked ; and a letter is now extant in the grand- 
priory of Germany, written by him but a few days 
previous to the loss of Malta, in which he assured 
the German Knights "that they might rest quite 
easy as to the fate of the island, since he had taken 
every precaution necessary to resist an attack, and 
that moreover he was certain the French government 
had no intention of acting in a manner hostile to the 
Order, and that therefore they were to place no cre- 
dence upon the idle tales which might be spread on that 
subject." Utterly deluded as he had been by his own 
wilful incredulity, Hompesch found the fatal moment 
arrived and no preparations made for an effectual re- 
sistance. His whole force was less than seven thousand 
men, of whom three were the rawest local militia, 
amongst whom discontent and treachery were busily 
employed, rendering them untrustworthy to the last 
degree. Most of the forts were destitute of stores, and 
even of provisions. Different counsels prevailed on 
every side ; a very large bulk of the population, and not 
a few of the Knights themselves, were secretly, if not 
openly, favourable to the revolutionary party, and the 
general discord and uncertainty prevented the adoption 
of any prompt or decisive measures of defence. 

A firm and determined chief might in such a moment 
have restored confidence. He might have awed the 


discontented and encouraged the loyal. Well knowing 
that the British fleet would ere long have humed to 
the rescue, he might have maintained his resistance 
without much difficulty within the stupendous line of 
ramparts which had been the glory and the boast of so 
many of his predecessors ; but Hompesch was not the 
man to enact such a part. Weak and vacillating in 
character, easily ruled by others, and ever ready to give 
heed to the suggestions of those who were only seeking 
to betray him, he in this trying moment was capable of 
nothing to restore order within the town. It was now 
that the traitors commenced openly to show themselves. 
The commander Boisredont Ransijat, treasurer of the 
Order, at once wrote to the Grand-Master, announcing 
that as a Knight of St. John his duty was to combat 
against the Infidel, but that he could not take part in a 
struggle against his countrymen the French, at the 
same time desiring to surrender his office. Hompesch 
ordered the recusant commander to be confined in the 
fort of St. Angelo, but took no further steps to check so 
pernicious an example, and the fruits of his negligence 
were not long in displaying themselves. 

On Sunday, the 10th of June, at four o'clock in the 
morning, the disembarkation of the French army com- 
menced. Eleven different points were selected for this 
operation, and the towers of St. George and St. Julian 
yielded without resistance. By ten o'clock in the 
morning the whole outlying country was in the hands 
of the French, and all the detached forts, with the 
solitary exception of St. Lucian's tower, in the Marsa 
Sirocco, had yielded to them. By noon, 15,000 men 
had landed, and the heads of their columns were 
advanced within pistol shot of the defences on the side 


of the Bourg. Several Knights, who had been taken 
prisoners during this operation, were brought before 
Bonaparte, who expressed himself highly indignant at 
finding Frenchmen in arms against their country. He 
is reported to have said, '^ How is it that I am con- 
stantly to meet with Knights who have taken up arms 
against their country ? I ought to give directions to 
have you all shot. How could you ever believe it 
possible that you could defend yourselves with a few 
wretched peasants against troops which have conquered 
and subdued the whole of Europe?" Notwithstanding 
this outburst of anger, he gave instructions that the 
captives should be well treated, nor had they any cause 
to complain of the conduct displayed towards them 
whilst under thraldom. 

Meanwhile treachery and panic had been working their 
way within the town. Hompesch, instead of endeavour- 
ing to restore order and confidence by personal efforts, 
remained buried in his palace, accompanied by only a 
single aide-de-camp. He did not even name a lieu- 
tenant to aid him at this juncture. The commanders 
of the various posts, unwilling to take upon themselves 
the responsibilities of action, remained passive, and 
the French were permitted to take up their positions 
unmolested. Everywhere the most complete dis- 
organisation was apparent; the soldiers deserted their 
standards ; the people collected together in threatening 
crowds ; cries of treason were heard on all sides ; and 
throughout this scene of confusion the French emissaries 
busied themselves everywhere, exciting the people to 
acts of violence, and pointing out those Knights who 
were in reality the most zealous in endeavouring to 
protract the defence, as the traitors by whom they were 


being betrayed. The infuriated multitude, stimulated 
to a pitch of frenzy by these foul calumnies and scan- 
dalous aspersions, soon proceeded to acts of violence, 
and several unfortunate Knights fell victims to the 
blindness of their rage. Amongst others De Vallin and 
d'Ormy were murdered by the Maltese. Montazet fell 
by the hands of his own men at Benissa point, and 
d'Andelard, who was on guard at the principal gate of 
the city, was shot down by one of his own corporals 
whilst endeavouring to save a brother Knight from the 
same fate. Many others were seriously wounded, and 
the mob raging with the excitement of the moment, 
dragged their bleeding victims to the front of the Grand- 
Master's palace. 

In the midst of all this sedition an attempt was made 
to check the advance of the French by a sortie, but the 
Maltese regiment, which was sent out for this purpose, 
gave way at the first sight of the enemy's advanced 
skirmishers, and retreated into the town in such con- 
fusion that they suffered the loss of their standards. 
A report became current, founded on this circumstance, 
that the great standard of the religion was captured, 
and this intelligence added still further to the general 
dismay. Before night, a French division under Desaix 
had occupied the Cottonera lines and Fort Ricasoli, whilst 
Baraguay d'Hilliers was in possession of all the centre 
of the island. Yaubois had seized the Citt^ Notabile, 
and Regnier was master of Gozo. Night only added 
to the general scene of confusion and dismay; shots 
were heard on all sides, and the garrison were called 
upon to combat not only the open foe without their 
walls, but also the insidious treachery which was at 
work within. 



About tuidnight, a deputation of some of the lea< 
Maltese proceeded to the piiluce, and in an audi 
with the Grand-Master, demanded that he should c»] 
late and request a suspension of hostilities. They poi 
out that there was palpable treason at work ; tlu 
orders were executed ; that the plan organised foi 
fence was not carried out; that provisions, aminuni 
and despatches were all intercepted, and that the 
sacre of the Knights which had already token ] 
proved that the body of the people were inimici 
them, and uidess a speedy surrender -were detem 
on, there was reason to fear that a wholesale butc 
would ere long ensue. To this demand Hompeac 
turned a refusal, without, however, taking any fui 
steps to render that refusal effectual j and soon af 
second deputation appeared, announcing to him tl 
he did not promptly yield to their demand they m 
open negotiations with Bonaparte themselves, and 
for the surrender of the town without further refer 
to him. Alarmed at this last threat, Hompesch i 
moned the council to deliberate upon the demand ol 
insurgents, and at that dead hour of night the d: 
taries of the Order assembled within the palace 
proceeded to debate the question. Whilst the die 
ston was going on, and different views were being 
pounded, a tumult without the door of the cou 
chamber denoted a fresh interruption, and, in a mou 
after, in rushed a body of the rioters, bearing s 
in triumph the recreant Knight Ransijat, who 
abandoned his Order and set the first example of trea 
at that eventful moment, and who had in conseque 
been imprisoned in the castle of St. Angelo, from whe 
his friends of the revolutionary party had just relca 


him by force. This incident completed the panic of 
the council. Alarmed lest the city should be surrendered 
without any reference to them, they instantly decided 
that a deputation should be nominated to wait upon 
General Bonaparte and demand a suspension of arms 
as a preliminary to a capitulation. The individuals 
selected for this office were the bailiff Saousa, the 
Knights Miari and Monferret, the Maltese baron d' Aurel, 
M. Fremeaux, the Dutch consul, and M. Poussielgue, the 
consul for Kagusa. 

As soon as the deputation had departed on its errand, 
orders were sent by Hompesch to the different posts to 
cease firing, and ere long a complete silence reigned 
throughout the town, broken only by the distant 
booming of the cannon of Fort Rohan at the Marsa 
Scirocco, commanded by La Gu^rivi^re, a brave Knight, 
who maintained an active resistance in his little isolated 
post until the 11th of June, when he was forced to 
surrender, his garrison having been twenty-four hours 
without food. In answer to the demands of the depu- 
tation, Bonaparte sent Brigadier-General Junot, his own 
aide-de-camp, a Knight of the name of Dolomiere, who had 
accompanied the expedition with a view to studjdng the 
geology of Egypt, and M. Poussielgue, controller of the 
military chest, to arrange the terms of the armistice. A 
brief interview with the Grand-Master and council 
settled the point, Junot carrying everything with a 
very high hand. The following was the document 
agreed to on that occasion : — 

" Article I. — A suspension of arms for twenty-four • 
hours (to commence from six o'clock this evening, the 
11th of June, until six o'clock to-morrow evening) is 


450 A niSTORY OP 

agreed to between the army of the French republic, 
commanded by General Bonaparte, represented by 
Brigadier-General Junot, aide-de-camp of the said gene- 
ral, on the one side, and his most eminent highness and 
the Order of St. John on the other. 

"Article II. — During those twenty-four hours depu- 
ties shall be sent on board ' L'Orient,' to draw up the 

" Signed in duplicate at Malta, this 11th of June 1798. 

" Junot. 
" hompbsch." 

On the following day General Bonaparte entered the 
town, and took up his abode at the house of Baron 
Paolo Parisio, a noble Maltese who lived near the 
castellany, and here he established his head-quarters. 
As he entered within the stupendous fortifications of 
Valetta, and witnessed the extraordinary strength of its 
lines of defence, he could not refrain from remarking on 
the good fortune which had befriended him, in throwing 
into his hands, with such slender eflforts, a fortress whose 
powers of resistance were so great. " Well was it for 
us," exclaimed he, ** that we had friends within to open 
the gates for us." Bonaparte had great reason for his 
self gratulation ; his proverbial good fortune had not 
on this occasion deserted him. Had he been detained 
but a very brief time before the walls of Valetta, the 
fleet under Nelson, which scoured the ocean in search of 
him for a twelvemonth, would have been on his track, 
and the glorious victory of the Nile would have been 
anticipated by a year, and would have been fought under 
the ramparts of Malta. It is difficult to trace how 
great might have been the changes in the aspect of 


European politics from such an event. Bonaparte dis- 
graced, with his army destroyed and his fleet scattered, 
would have made a very different figure on the French 
stage than he was destined to occupy as the conqueror 
of Egypt. No imperial diadem would probably ever 
have graced his brow, and Europe might have been 
spared many years of desolating wars, during which her 
fairest provinces were watered with blood. Fate had, 
however, decreed it otherwise; the star of the great 
general was at this moment prominently in the ascend- 
ant, and he had already commenced that unchequered 
career of glory which was to lead him eventually to 
the most widely-extended and powerful empire of 
modern days. 

The capitulation, which was agreed to on the 12th of 
June, and in virtue of which Malta passed for ever from 
under the dominion of the Order of St. John, was 
couched in the following terms : — 

" Article 1. — The Knights of the Order of St. John of 
Jerusalem shall give up the city and forts of Malta to 
the French army, at the same time renouncing in favour 
of the French republic all right of property and sove- 
reignty over that island, as also over those of Gozo and 

"Article 2. — The French republic shall employ all its 
credit at the congress of Rastadt to procure a princi- 
pality for the Grand- Master, equivalent to the one he 
gives up, and the same republic engages to pay him in 
the meantime an annual pension of 300,000 French livres, 
besides two annats of the pension, by way of indemnifi- 
cation for his personal property. He shall also be 

G G 2 


treated with the usual military honours during the 
remainder of his stay in Malta. 

" Article 3. — The French Knights of the Order of 
St. John of Jerusalem actually resident at Malta, if 
acknowledged as such by the commander-in-chief, shall 
be permitted to return to their native country, and 
their residence in Malta shall be considered in the same 
light as if they inhabited France. The French republic 
will likewise use its influence with the Cisalpine, Ligu- 
rian, Roman, and Helvetian republics, that this third 
article may remain in force for the Knights of those 
several nations. 

" Article 4. — The French republic shall assign an 
annual pension of 700 French livres to those whose 
ages exceed sixty years. It shall also endeavour to 
induce the Cisalpine, Ligurian, Roman, and Helvetian 
republics to grant the same pension to the Knights of 
their respective countries. 

" Article 5. — The French republic shall employ its 
credit with the different powers, that the Knights of 
each nation may be allowed to exercise their right 
over the property of the Order of Malta situated in 
their dominions. 

" Article 6 — The Knights shall not be deprived of 
their private property either in Malta or Gozo. 

"Article 7 The inhabitants of the islands of Malta 

and Gozo shall be allowed as heretofore the free exercise 
of the catholic, apostolical, and Roman religion. Their 
privileges and property shall likewise remain inviolate, 
nor shall they be subject to any extraordinary taxes. 

" Article 8. — All civil acts passed during the govern- 
ment of the Order shall remain valid. 

" Done and concluded on board the * Orient,' before 


Malta, on the 24th Prairial, the sixth year of the 
Frencli republic. 

" The Commander Boisredon de Ransijat. 

" Baron Marie Testa-Ferrata, 

" Doctor John Nicolas Muscat, . ^, 

" Doctor Besnoit Schembri, ^ ^^' 

" Counsellor Bonani, 

" Chevalier Philip Amat. 

" The Bailiff De Turin-Frisari, mthout prejudice 
to the right of dominion belonging to my sove- 
reign, the king of the two Sicilies." 

Such were the terms of the capitulation which trans- 
ferred the island of Malta for two brief years to the 
French sway. The standard of the Order was removed 
from its proud position, and the degenerate descendants 
of L'Isle Adam and La Valette were doomed to the 
degradation of witnessing the substitution in its place 
of the French tricolor, a change which they had not 
even the satisfaction of feeling that they had struck 
one good blow to prevent. For two centuries and a 
half successive Grand-Masters had expended their own 
fortunes and the treasures of the Order in rearinof a 
frowning mass of parapets and batteries on every side. 
The opinion of every leading engineer throughout 
Europe had been taken to suggest fresh additions to 
render the fortress of Valetta impregnable. It had long 
since been recognised as the most powerful place in 
Europe ; and yet in two days it yielded, with scarce a 
struggle, to the armies of France, even though it knew 
that the slightest resistance would bring the avenging 
fleet of Great Britain upon the track of the foe. Indeed 
it has been generally stated, and there is every reason 

a G 3 


^ J- 



454 A HI8TOB7 OF 

to believe with truth, that Greneral Bonaparte y 
received instructions from the directory not to piw 
cute the siege of Malta if he met "with any effectoil 
resistance, as the safety of the Egyptian expedidon 
might thereby become compromised. The cowar&e 
and negligence, the incapacity and blindness of Hom- 
pesch, combined with the treachery of those under him, 
had done all, and more than all, which the revolution- 
ary party in France could have desired ; and tbe 
powerful fortress which they had so long craved wss 
transferred without a blow to their power. So soon 8S 
the intelligence of this important event reached Paris, 
the following message was sent by the executive direc- 
I tory to the council, which shows the grounds upon 

which the French republic intended to justify thar 
wanton aggression in the eyes of Europe. 

f\ "Citizens, Representatives, 

" The government of Malta has for s 
long time past dared to manifest the most hostile inten 
tions towards France; it has boldly received and greatl] 
favoured, not only the emigrants who have retired t( 

<' I Malta, but also those amongst the Knights who hav< 

actually served in the army of Cond6. 

" The nature of its constitution demands the strictes 
neutrality, but at the very moment when it publicly pro 

^ I fessed to preserve it, permission was granted to Spain 

while at war with us, to recruit sailors in Malta, anc 
the same permission has since been given to England, 
though it has constantly been refused to France in the 
most offensive manner. 

" Whenever any Maltese or French residing in Malta 
appeared attached to the French cause, they were 
cruelly persecuted, imprisoned, and treated like the 


vilest criminals. The hatred of an inconsiderable state 
towards the French republic could not well be carried 
to greater lengths, yet the Grand-Master has declared 
in his manifesto of the 10th of October 1793, that the 
king of Naples, having notified to him his situation in 
regard to the war, he eagerly embraced the opportunity 
of shutting his ports against all French vessels. He 
even went still further, and declared in the same mani- 
festo, that the French agent, then residing in Malta, 
should in future be entirely regarded as chargd d'af- 
faires from the king of France, and concluded by 
saying, that having understood there was a new envoy 
on his way to Malta, he would neither receive nor admit 
into his dominions such a person, nor, indeed, any 
other as agent from the pretended French republic, which 
the Grand-Master (his own words) neither ought, could, 
nor would acknowledge. 

" The government of Malta could not certainly at that 
period prove itself more inimical to France, and this 
state of warfare has never ceased to subsist. 

" On the 21st Prairial of this year, the commander of 
the French forces in those seas requested permission to 
water at the various watering places within the island, 
but this request was refused in the most evasive manner, 
the Grand-Master alleging that he could not permit 
more than two transports to enter at the same time, so 
that it would necessarily have taken up more than three 
hundred days to have furnished the whole of the French 
troops with water. What eflFrontery thus to insult the 
army of the republic commanded by General Bonaparte. 

" On the morning of the 22nd Prairial, the French 
troops landed on all the diflTerent points of the island, 
and in the course of the same day the place was invested 

O G 4 

456 A niSTORY OF 

on all sides. The cannon from the city kept up a very 
brisk fire. The besieged made a sally, when the colours 
of the Order were taken by the chief of brigade Mar- 
mont, at the head of the 9th brigade. 

" On the 24th, in the morning, the Knights of the 
Order of St. John of Jerusalem gave up the city and 
forts of Malta to the French Republic, and likewise 
ceded to the said Republic their rights of sovereignty 
and proprietorship not only over Malta, but also over 
the islands of Gozo and Comino. 

" The republic made the acquisition in Malta of two 
men-of-war, one frigate, four galleys, 1200 pieces of 
cannon, 1,500,000 pounds of gunpowder, 40,000 mus- 
kets, and many other articles not yet particularised to 
the republic. 

" (Signed) Pechell, President. 

" La Garde, General Secretary." 

General Bonaparte did not condescend to pay any 
personal respect to the unworthy chief whose sove- 
reignty had been thus easily torn from his grasp, nor 
did he honour him with a visit. Hompesch, on the other 
hand, anxious to secure certain concessions and privi- 
leges for his unfortunate Order, determined to overlook 
the marked slight thus cast upon him, and to seek him- 
self the interview which the French general did not 
appear disposed to demand. Accompanied by a body 
of his Knights, with downcast air and stripped of the 
decorations of their rank, he presented himself before 
Bonaparte on the 16th of June. The interview was 
brief and unsatisfactory. The requests which he pre- 
ferred were refused, and he himself treated with very 
scant courtesy. 


He had no sooner left the head-quarters of the French 
general after this fruitless mission, than instructions 
were issued directing that the minister of the Russian 
emperor, and the Knights of that language, should leave 
the island within three hours. The' Portuguese were 
allowed a delay of forty-eight hours, and the French 
three days. Hompesch preferred a claim to all the 
plate and jewellery appertaining to the palace and the 
oflSce of Grand-Master, but the directory established by 
the French in the island refused the demand, alleging 
that they proposed making him an allowance of 600,000 
crowns as an equivalent. Of this sum, 300,000 were 
handed over to his creditors, who were very numerous, 
and who, since he had been stripped of his revenues, 
were become most clamorous for their dues. Of the 
balance, 200,000 were paid in bills on the French trea- 
sury, and only 100,000, or about 10,000/. English 
money, was paid in cash. At his special request, he was 
allowed to carry away with him the three relics which 
the Order had always held in so high a veneration, 
namely, a piece of the real cross, of which they had 
originally become possessed in the Holy Land, the hand of 
John the Baptist, and the miraculous picture of our Lady 
of Philermo. Even these, however, were stripped of their 
valuable cases and ornaments before they were given up.* 
Hompesch embarked at two o'clock on the morning of the 
18th of June 1798, on board of a merchantman bound 
for Trieste, and escorted by a French frigate. The 
suite who accompanied him consisted of the two bailiflFs 
of Lombardy, Montauroux and Suffrein de St. Tropez j 
the commander De Licondas, his grand chamberlain; 

* These relics are now in existence at St. Petersburg. 



the commander St. Priest, his aide-de-camp; the 
inander Miari, secretary for Italy ; the chevalier 
bruU, secretary for Spain ; the chevalier de Si 
master of the horse ; the two commanders Amabl 
Sigondes and De Boisredont; the chevalier De Re 
ville, one of the Grand-Master's pages ; and two sen 
of arms, Le Hormand and Becker, the former of w 
had been his deputy master of the horse. 

The cringing character of this unworthy chief 
be gathered from the following letter, which he n 
to the general who was tyrannising over him the 
before he left Malta, and which is an unquestion 
genuine document, although he afterwards attempte 
deny its authenticity. 

" Citizen general, 

" I should have most earnestly 
sired to have expressed in a personal farewell the s 
I entertain of the constant attentions which you I 
bestowed upon me, and of the gracious manner in wl 
you have acceded to all the requests that I have u 
to you, if from a sense of delicacy, whose only oh 
has been to do nothing which could recall to the Mai 
either ray person or their old attachment, I had 
decided upon avoiding this occasion of showing my 
in public. Deign, therefore, to receive in writing ■ 
expression of my gratitude, my adieus, and my g 
wishes for you. It is in consequence of the confidei 
citizen general, with which the knowledge of y 
generous disposition has impressed me, that 1 ten 
for the last time my earnest prayers for the execut 
of the promise whicli you were pleased to make 
yesterday, touching the passports of the French mt 


bers of the Order. I attach to this letter a draft of a 
general form, which, if you would adopt it, would 
gratify the most earnest desires of the Knights, to whose 
tranquillity and wishes it is ray happiness to contribute. 
Desiring to leave the island in the most tranquil hour of 
the night, I pray you, citizen general, to give the ne- 
cessary orders that the gates of the town may be opened 
for me at two o'clock in the morning, at which hour I 
propose to embark, under the escort of the Guides 
whom you have appointed for that purpose," &c. &c. &c. 

Hompesch having left the island, the work of spolia- 
tion was rapidly accoraplisbed. All the gold and silver 
plate, the jewels, and other articles of value, which 
were pillaged from the convent, were placed on board 
the " Orient " and " Sensible." The former of these 
vessels was destroyed at the battle of the Nile, and all 
her treasures lost ; the latter was taken by the English, 
who returned the property which they found on board 
to the bailiflF Franconi, the ambassador of the Order 
at Naples. Several of the French Knights, finding 
their convent thus annihilated, and the community dis- 
persed, followed the fortunes of Bonaparte, and took 
service in the armies of the French republic, when 
they mostly perished on the burning sands of Egypt, or 
before the walls of St. John d'Acre, where the spirited 
conduct of Sir Sidney Smith might have taught them 
a lesson on the powers of resistance gained by a firm 
determination, and the iron will of a brave man ; his 
defence of that place most certainly was a tacit reproach 
on the cowardice and treachery which had surrendered 
so powerful a fortress as Malta with scarce a blow in 
three days. 


A general dispersion of the Order now took place. 
Hompescb, who for a short time resided at Trieste, 
where he published a lengthy justification of his con- 
duct, which had but little effect in removing the stein 
his previous weakness and pusillanimity had cast on his 
reputation, was at length induced to resign his office, 
and to retire entirely into private life. He proceeded 
to Montpellier, where he resided in the strictest se- 
clusion, alike shunning and being shunned by society at 
large. He died on the 1 2th of May 1805, of asthma, 
a complaint from which he had of late years been a 
great sufferer. A few months before his death he en- 
rolled himself a member of the fraternity of Blue 
Penitents of Montpellier, and he was buried in the 
chapel of their order. He died in such extreme 
poverty that the physicians who attended him in his 
last moments received no remuneration for their 
labours, and no funds of his own were forthcoming to 
provide for the necessary expenses of his funeral. 

The great body of the Knighthood of St. John, who 
on their expulsion from Malta were cast homeless and 
destitute on the world, proceeded at once to Russia, 
whose emperor still retained the title of protector of 
the Order, and was the only monarch who of late years 
had shown any sympathy with the fraternity. Here 
they were received in the most gracious manner, and 
with the most flattering cordiality, by the wily monarch, 
whose ambition prompted him to desire the post of 
Grand-Master, in order that he might upon that title 
found a claim to the island of Malta, should it become 
wrested from the grasp of the French republic. 

This desire on his part speedily became known to the 
Knights assembled at St. Petersburg; and although at 


that time Hompesch, not having as yet sent in his 
resignation, was still the indubitable and legitimate 
chief of the Hospital, they assembled together in 
conclave on the 27th of October, and elected the 
emperor their Grand-Blaster.* Not only was this 
nomination illegal, from the absence of any resignation 
on the part of Hompesch, but also from the fact that 
none of the elements necessary for a valid election were 
present. The deed of proclamation itself specifies that 
the members taking part in the act were only the 
bailiffs, grand-crosses, commanders, and Knights of the 
Russian priory, together with such of the fugitives 
from Malta as had taken shelter in St. Petersburg. 
Invalid and even farcical as was this election, Paul 
graciously accepted the proffered dignity on the 13 th 
of November f , and on the 10th of December he was 
publicly invested with the insignia of his new office. 

Paul, however, did not consider his appointment free 
from cavil, so long as the election of Hompesch re- 
mained unannulled. He therefore caused such a 
pressure to be brought to bear on that unfortunate 
Knight, who was residing at Trieste, that on the 6th 
of July 1799, a formal act of abdication was forwarded 
to St. Petersburg, and Paul was from thenceforth left 
to enjoy his barren dignity undisturbed. His first step 
was to create a new Russian priory, for such of his 
subjects as were members of the Greek Church, in 
addition to that which already existed within his 
kingdom for the members of the Church of Rome. The 
new priory consisted of ninety-eight commanderies, 

♦ Vide Appendix No. 20. 
I Vide Appendix No. 20. 


and its revenues amounted to 216,000 roubles, payabl 
out of the public treasury. Paul then announced t 
all the courts of Europe the measures he had takei 
with regard to the Order, and invited candidates fron 
all nations to enrol themselves once more beneath tfa< 
white cross banner. 

He also sent instructions to Prince Volkouski, com 
manding the Russian forces in the Ionian Islands, tc 
join in the expedition which was then blockading the 
French in Malta. The English, however, who saw 
clearly through his designs in the matter, and who 
were determined that if Malta was to pass into other 
hands they themselves should be its new masters, 
rejected the proffered aid, and so offended Paul, that he 
was brought to yield to the blandishments of the first 
consul, and became the ally of Bonaparte against the 

At his death in 1 801, his successor Alexander nomi- 
nated Field-Marshal Count Soltikoff, as lieutenant of 
the Mastery, and directed that he should convene a 
meeting of the council of the Order at St. Petersburg, 
to deliberate upon their future action.* This assembly, 
which called itself the sovereign council of the Order, 
met at St. Petersburg on the 22nd of June 1801, and 
proposed a substitute for the original mode of election 
to the Grand -Mastery, such as the altered condition in 
which they were placed rendered the only feasible me- 
thod. Local chapters-general were to be convened in 
every grand-priory, and lists were to be by them pre- 
pared of such Knights as were eligible for the vacant 
office ; the actual nomination from amongst the names 

* Vide Appendix No. 21. 


thus put forward, being left with the Pope.* In accor- 
dance with this arrangement the Pope selected the 
bailiff De Ruspoli, a member of the Italian language, 
and formerly the general of the galleys. That Knight, 
however, declined the empty and barren dignity thus 
proffered to him, and the Pope afterwards named John 
de Tommasi in his place. 

One of the first acts of the new chief was to assemble 
a conclave of the Order in the priory church of Messina, 
on the 27th of June 1802, where he formally promul- 
gated his appointment as Grand-Master. Nothing, 
however, of any importance to the interests of the fra- 
ternity was proposed at this meeting ; nor indeed, in the 
then unfortunate state of affairs, were they capable of 
much amelioration. Tommasi resided until his death, 
at Catania, in Sicily, and when that event took place, 
in June 1805, the Pope, who declined any longer to 
take upon himself the responsibility of nominating a 
Grand-Master, in violation of the statutes of the Order, 
contented himself with naming the bailiff Guevara 
Luardo as lieutenant. He was in his turn followed, in 
1814, by the bailiff Andr6 di Giovanni Centell^s, and in 
1821, by the bailiff of Armenia, Antoine Busca. During 
his rule a project was set on foot for the establishment 
of the fraternity in Greece, with a view to their ulti- 
mate recovery of the island of Rhodes, and a loan for 
this purpose of 400,000/. was set on foot, but as a 
financial speculation it failed utterly. Busca changed 
the residence of the fraternity to Ferrara, by permission 
of Leo XII., dated the 12th of May 1827, and he died in 
that city. 

* Vide Appendix No. 22. 



He waa followed successively by De Candida \ 
Count Colloredo, who at the present moment is inves 
with the dignity. In the year 1814 a general cb^ 
of the French, Spanish, and Portuguese languages ' 
held in Paris, where a capitular commission was elec 
to act as an executive council for the institution. Pri 
Camille de Rohan, grand-prior of Aquitaine, pre«t 
over the chapter, and the commission thus forn 
has been ruled over by the grand-treasurer, the Bai 
de Clugny, and by the president of the original chapl 
prince Camille de Rohan. 

It has already been shown how, in X834, the dormi 
language of England was once more revived and a^ 
established, although without connection with the forei 
branches of the fraternity. It may be here inentiou 
that Sir Joshua Meredyth, Bart., was the last Engl 
Knight who was admitted into the Order of St. Jo 
by a Grand-Master in person, he having received i 
accolade at the hands of Hompesch in the comment 
ment of 1798. The history of Malta, subsequent 
its abandonment by the Knights, forms no part of 
narrative in which that Order only is concerned ; sti 
as the residence of the fraternity during so ma 
eventful years, and as the scene of their most glorio 
and brilliant achievements, it cannot be passed over 
entire silence, although it may be dismissed in a f< 

The French, upon obtaining possession of the islan 
established a provisional government under the pi 
sidency of the recreant Knight Ransijat ; but his powe 
were completely circumscribed, if not actually nullifie 
by those of a commissary appointed by the directo 
to watch over the government of the island. Und 



his superintendence the Maltese were not long in dis- 
covering that they had passed under a yoke widely 
different from that of the Order of St. John. If, under 
their former lords they had been suffered but a slight 
exercise of liberty, their interests and advantage had 
nevertheless been invariably consulted ; now, however, 
not only were they deprived of every vestige of liberty, 
but at the same time the most wanton aggressions were 
made upon their property. 

Numerous causes have been alleged for the insurrec- 
tion which, ere long, broke out, and probably they all 
bore their share in producing that result. The im- 
mediate cause of the revolt, however, was one which 
the smallest foresight and the most ordinary prudence 
on the part of the French government would have 
prevented. They closed several of the wealthiest and 
most richly-decorated of the churches, and sold their 
adornments for the benefit of the public treasury. To 
a people as religious and superstitious as the native 
population of Malta, this act assumed the worst cha- 
racter of sacrilege ; and when at length a public sale was 
announced of the tapestry and other articles of decora- 
tion belonging to a church in the Citta Notabile, a riot 
broke out in that place, which prevented the sale from 
being carried out. Before General Vaubois, who com- 
manded the French forces in Malta, could send rein- 
forcements, this riot, insignificant in its commencement, 
had grown into the dimensions of a regular insurrec- 
tion. The commandant of Citta Notabile, together 
with a considerable number of his garrison, were mur- 
dered, and the French municipal officers in other 
villages shared the same fate. 

The general discontent which had gradually grown 

VOL. u. H H 


up in all directions caused a rapid spread of this seditioD, 
and ere long the French garrison were closely blockaded 
within the fortifications by the infuriated Maltese, who 
had determined upon starving out the interlopers und^ 
whose thraldom they had suffered so many wrongs and 
indignities. Shortly after this blockade had been com- 
menced by the natives, a fleet of Portuguese men-of- 
war appeared off the port, which were soon after fd- 
lowed by the victorious British fleet under Nelson, 
then just returned from their glorious triumph over 
the French in Aboukir Bay. 

The tale of the two years' blockade which ensued is 
a narrative full of interest, marking, as it does, the 
heroism and endurance almost incredible of the de- 
fenders, and the dogged obstinacy and invincible deter- 
mination of the besiegers. Human endurance has, how- 
ever, its limits, and the gallant Yaubois was at length 
compelled to surrender with his whole garrison to the 
British fleet, and Malta fell into the power of that 
government*, who, however, only held it in trust until 
its ultimate destination should be decreed in an Euro- 
pean congress. 

The treaty of Amiens contemplated the restoration of 
the Order of St. John, under a new and more restricted 
footing f, but ere the provision of that short-lived 
treaty could be carried into eflfect, which, indeed, the 
British governor, who was far-sighted enough to an- 
ticipate the early rupture of the peace, was in no hurry 
to accomplish, war again broke out, and the English 
retained the hold which they had gained upon this, the 
most powerful fortress in the Mediterranean. 

* Vide Appendix No. 23. 
t Vide Appendix No. 24. 


The 7th article of the treaty of Paris, signed on the 
30th of May 1814, determined the ultimate destiny of 
Malta in the following terms : — 

" The island of Malta with its dependencies will ap- 
pertain in full authority and sovereignty to His Britan- 
nic Majesty." 

Under that rule the island still remains, and at this 
moment the "meteor flag" of England is waving over 
those ramparts, so long and so ably defended by the 
Knights of St. John. England, however, does not found 
her claim to this island stronghold entirely on the power 
of her might. True she possesses ample means of retain- 
ing that which was thus solemnly transferred to her do- 
minions by a general European congress, against all and 
every one who may gainsay her right ; and should occa- 
sion ever again oflTer itself, she will be found to possess 
sons able and willing to rival the fame even of the 
heroes who fought under La Valette ; and to hold, till 
their last gasp, those ramparts which have already been 
watered with the heart's blood of the noblest amongst 
the Knights of St. John. 

But she prefers to found her claims rather upon the 
love and attachment of the Maltese themselves. She 
has no fear of recalling to their memory the days when 
they were under the sway of the Hospital. She needs 
not to follow the example of the French, who, on prin- 
ciple, no sooner obtained possession of the island, than 
they commenced to destroy every monumental record 
of the rulers who had preceded them. Even to this 
day, much as has been done to repair the injury, the eye 
is shocked by the numerous mutilations, apparently 
wanton and barbarous, which the public monuments of 
the island underwent during the two years that the 

H H 2 


* V 

I. 1 


French remained its masters. Those mutilations ^ 
I however, by no means the unpremeditated act 

; p ^J licensed soldiery. They were part of a deep-laid d^ 

1 j ^ of the French government to estrange the Maltese 

the memory of the Order of St. John. 

England, however, has no need of any such meas 
Secure in the love of her subjects, she can dare t 
to their memory the deeds of the heroes of old. 
can venture to restore to their pristine beautj 
various records of the Grand-Masters who have si 
sively held sway within the island ; and the Mi 
who now enters the city of Valetta, passes bene 
gate, only lately erected, on which stand, as the 1 
? , mate guardians of the city, the statues of L'Isle 2\ 

the first founder of the Order in Malta, and c 
Valette, the builder of the city which yet bear 
name, and the hero of that glorious struggle whi 
so inseparably connected with the island of Malta. 
The hold which England maintains over 
insular fortalice is well expressed in the inscri 
placed over the portico of the main guard-house ir 
centre of the city : — 




* The love of the Maltese and the voice of Europe have con; 
these islands to the possession of Great and Invincible Britain. 


No. 16. 

Deed op Authorisation to the Procurators op LIsle 
Adah, including the Act op Donation op the 
Island op Malta and its Dependencies to the 
Order op St. John by Charles V. (Translated from 
the original Latin.) 

The brother Philip de Villiers L'Isle d'Adam^ humble Master 
of the Sacred House of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, 
guardian of the poor in Jesus Christ, and of our conventual 
home, to our venerable brethren in Christ most dear to us, 
brother Hugh de Copons, draper of our convent, and com- 
mander of our galleys, and to John Boniface, bailiff of our 
bailiwick of Manosca, and receiver-general of our Order : health 
in the Lord and diligence in action. Since his most catholic 
majesty has, of his munificence, granted the privilege to our 
Order, whose tenor is as follows, namely : — 

We, Charles V., by the clemency of the divine favour always 
Augustus, emperor of the Romans ; Joanna, his mother, and 
the same Charles being, by the grace of God, monarchs of 
Castile, Aragon, of both Sicilies, Jerusalem, L^on, Navarre, 
Granada, Toledo, Yalentia, Gallicia, Majorca, Seville, Sardinia, 
Cordova, Corsica, Murcia, Algarve, Algeria, Gibraltar, the 
Canary Islands ; also of the islands and continent of India, of 
the Oceans ; Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Burgundy and 
Brabant ; Counts of Barcelona, Flanders, and Tyrol ; Lords of 
Biscay and Molina ; Dukes of Athens and Neopatria; Counts 

H B 3 


of BouBilloD and Catalooia; Marquis of La Mancha 

Whereas, for the restoratioD aod establishment of the coc 
Order, and religion of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusi 
and in order ^hat the very reverend, and venerable, anc 
beloved, the Grand-Master, the priors, bailiffs, precepton 
Knights of the said Order ; who, being expelled from the 
of Rhodes by the Turks (who, after a most protrsctet 
violent siege, have occupied that island), have already wan 
for several years, should obtain at length a fixed residenci 
there should once more return to those duties for the ben' 
the ChriBtiiin community which appertain to their rcli 
and should diligently exert their strength and their arms a] 
the perfidious enemies of the Christian religion ; movi 
devotion, and actuated by the same spirit which has allied 
the Order, we have determined upon granting a. fixed faoi 
the above-mentioned Grand-Master and Order, that they c 
no longer be compelled to wander about the world ; by the 
ofthi80urprescntcharter,firmly valid toall futuretimes; tb 
our fixed knowledge, and regal authority, and deliberation 
with special design for ourselves, our heirs and successors c 
throne ; wc grant, and of our liberality we bountifully h 
upon the aforesaid very reverend the GraDd-Master of the 
gion and Order of St. John of Jerusalem, in feudal perpe 
noble, free, and uncontrolled, our cities, castles, places, 
islaiKls of Tripoli, Malta, and Gozo, with all their cities, ca 
places, and insular territories; with pure and mixed jurisdii 
right, and property of useful government ; with power ol 
and death over male and female residing within their lioiita, 
with the laws, constitutions, and rights now existing amc 
the inhabitants; together with all other laws and ri] 
exemptions, privileges, revenues, and other immunities w 
soever ; so that they may hereafter hold them in feudal te 
from us, as kings of both Sicilies, and from our successors ii 
snme kingdom, reigning at the time, under the sole acki 
Icdgment of a hawk or falcon ; which, every year, on the i 
vnl of All Saints, shall be presented by the person or pei 
duly autliorised for that purpose, into the hands of the vio 


or president^ who may at that time be administering the 
government, in sign and recognition of feudal tenure; and, 
having made that acknowledgement, they shall remain exempt 
and free from all other service claimable by law, and customary 
to be performed by vassals. The investiture of which feudal 
tenure, however, shall be renewed in every case of a new suc- 
cession, and completed according to the dispositions of the com- 
mon law, and the Grand-Master for the time being, for himself 
and the above-mentioned Order generally in this recognition 
and investiture, shall be bound to give a pledge, that from the 
said cities, castles, or places, he will not permit loss, or prejudice, 
or injury, to be perpetrated against us, or our kingdoms and 
lordships above-mentioned, or those of our successors in the said 
kingdoms, either by sea or by land, nor will offer assistance or 
favour to those inflicting such injuries, or desirous of inflicting 
them ; but rather shall strive to avert the same with all their 
power. And if any one arraigned of a capital crime, or 
accused of any similar offence, shall escape from the said king- 
dom of Sicily, and shall take refuge in these islands, and their 
feudatories, if they shall be required on the part of the viceroy, 
or of the governor, or the ministers of justice of the said king- 
dom for the time being, they shall be bound to expel such 
fugitive or fugitives, and to drive them far away from their 
island, with the exception of those who are accused of treason, 
or of heresy, whom they shall not eject, but, at the requisition 
of the viceroy or his lieutenant, they shall take them prisoners, 
and remit them in custody, to the viceroy or governor. Fur- 
thermore, in order that the nomination to the bishopric of 
Malta may remain as it is now, in our gift and presentation, and 
in that of our successors in the kingdom of Sicily ; therefore, 
we decree, that after the death of our reverend and beloved 
councillor, Balthasar de Yualtkirk, our imperial vice-chancellor, 
lately nominated by us to that diocese, as also in the case of 
every subsequent vacancy occurring hereafter, the Grand- 
Master and the convent of the Order shall nominate to the 
viceroy of Sicily three persons of the Order, of whom one at 
leas^4faall be and must be a subject of ours or of our successors 
in the kingdom, and who shall all be fit and proper persons for 

H u 4 


the exercise of that pastoral dignity. Of which three persons 
thus nominated^ we, and our successors in the kingdom, will 
present, and shall be bound to present the one whom we or tkej 
may judge to be the most worthy for the post. The Master diall 
be bound to grant the dignity of the grand- cross to whosoeTer 
may be nominated to the said bishopric, and shall give him ad- 
mission into the council of the Order, together with the priors 
and bailiffs. Also, since the admiral of the Order is bound to 
be of the language and nation of Italy, and it is deemed advisable 
that, for him who is to exercise his authority, when absence or other 
impediments occur, if a suitable person can be found in the same 
language and nation, it shall be given to him ; it is therefore 
reasonable, that under a similar parity of suitableness, that 
person should the rather be elected to exercise that office, who 
may be judged the most eligible from amongst that nation and 
language, who shall exercise his office and be deemed suspected 
of none. Furthermore, let statutes and firm decrees be made of 
everything contained in the three preceding articles, according to 
the style and manner used in the said Order, with the approba- 
tion and authority of our sacred lord and of the apostolic see ; and 
let the Grand-Master of the Order who now is, or hereafter may 
be, be bound to swear solemnly to the faithful observation of the 
Raid statutes, and to preserve them in perpetuity inviolate. Fur- 
thermore, if the Order should succeed in reconquering the island 
of Rhodes, and for that reason, or from any other cause, shall de- 
part from these islands and their local feudatories, and shall 
establish their home and convent elsewhere, it shall not be lawful 
for them to transfer the possession of these islands to any other 
person without the expressed sanction of their feudal lord ; but 
if they shall presume so to alienate them without our sanction 
and license, they shall, in that case, revert to us and to our 
successors in full sovereignty. Further, whatever artillery or 
engines of war now exist within the castle and city of Tripoli, 
as shall be specified in a proper inventory, they may retain the 
same for three years for the protection of the town and citadel; 
the obligation, however, remaining valid to restore the said 
artillery and machines after the lapse of three years, unless at 
that time our grace may, owing to the necessities of the C|i8e> 


see fit to prolong the time, in order that the town and citadel 
may have its defence more safely provided for. And further, 
whatever rewards or gratuities, temporary or permanent, may 
have been granted to certain persons in these territories, which 
have been given them, either on account of their merits, or from 
some other obligation, in whatever state they may now stand, 
they shall not be taken away from them without proper recom- 
pense, but shall remain in full force until the Grand -Master 
and convent shall see fit to provide them elsewhere with equal 
and similar property. And in the valuation of this recompense 
all difference of opinion which might arise, and all annoyance 
and expense of legal proceedings shall be obviated thus : when 
it shall seem fit to the Grand-Master and convent to grant to 
any one such recompense, two judges shall be nominated ; one, 
in our name, by the viceroy of Sicily for the time being ; the 
other by the Grand-Master and convent; who, summarily and 
precisely, shall define the concession of privileges to be trans- 
ferred, with the arguments on both sides, without any other 
form or process of law ; and if any recompense is to be given, 
they shall decree how much it should be by right. But if 
the two judges should, by chance, be of different and opposing 
opinions, by the consent of both parties let a third judge be 
named, and whilst the question is being adjudicated or inquired 
into, and the recompense fixed, the possessors shall remain in the 
enjoyment of their rights, and shall receive the produce of their 
privileges, until compensation shall have been made to them. 
Under which conditions, as contained and described above, and 
in no other manner, conceding to the aforesaid Grand-Master 
and convent, one and all of the said articles in feudal tenure, as 
have been described, as can best and most fully and most usefully 
be stated and written for their convenience and benefit, and 
good, sound, and favourable understanding ; we offer and trans- 
fer the same to the rule of the Grand-Master, convent, and 
Order, in useful and firm dominion irrevocably ; in full right, 
to have and to hold, to govern, to exercise in full jurisdiction, 
and to retain in peace and perpetuity. And on account of this 
concession, and otherwise, according as it can best be made 
available and held by law, we give^ concede^ and bestow to the 


siud Grand-Master, convent, and Order, all rights and all pn 
pcrty, real and personal, of every description whatever, whic 
appertain to us, and which can and ought to belong to ue i 
those ielands, which we grant to them by feudal tenure, undc 
the said conditions as have been recited, and in other mattei 
according to the circumstances of the case ; which rights aa 
privileges, in order that they may be perpetual and capable o 
being exercised and maintained, and that all and every rigfa 
may he enjoyed and freely exercised by law, and whatever ela 
we ourselves may perform in any manner, either now or here 
after, placing the said Grand-Master, convent, and Order ii 
every respect in our place ; we constitute them true lords, dm 
and authorised agenta and administrators in their own matters 
no rights and no privileges, which we have conceded to them a: 
above, beyond what we have already received, shall be retained 
or received by us or by our council. Committing, from thit 
time forth, to the charge of the said Grand-Maeter, convent, 
and Order of St. John of Jerusalem, with the same authority 
as we have heretofore exercised, all and every one, male and 
female, who may now be dwelling, or hereafter about to dwell, 
in the said islands, cities, lands, places, and castlee, or in their 
territories, under whatsoever laws or conditions they may have 
resided there, that they should receive and consider the said 
Grand-Master as their true and feudal lord, and the rightful 
possessor of the aforesaid territories, and shall perform and obey 
hia behests, as good and faiihful vassals should always obey 
their lord. They shall also make and offer fidelity and homage 
to the said Grand-Maeter and convent, with all the oaths usual 
in similar cases ; we also ourselves, from the moment that they 
take those oaths and tender that homage, absolve and free them 
from all oaths and homage which they may have already made 
and taken to us, or to any of our predecessors, or to any other 
persons in our name, and by which they have been heretofore 
bound. Moreover, to the illustrious Philip, Prince of the 
Asturias, &c., our well beloved first-born son, and descendant, 
who, after our prosperous and lengthened reign, we nominate 
and appoint, under the support of our paternal benediction, to 
be, by tlie grace of God, our immediate heir and legitimate 


successor^ in all our kingdoms and dominions ; to all the most 
illustrious lords our beloved councillors, and to our faithful 
viceroy and captain-general in our kingdom of the Two Sicilies, 
to the chief-justice, or whosoever may be acting in his place, 
to the judges and magistrates of our courts, to the magistrates of 
the " portulano " and the " secreto," to the treasurer and con- 
servator of our royal patrimonies, to the patrons of our exche- 
quer, to the captains of our fortresses, to our prefects and guards, 
portulans, and portulanotes, secreta, and to all and every one 
else of the officials, and of subjects in our said kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies, and especially of the said islands, and of the city 
and castle of Tripoli, as well now as hereafter, by the same 
authority we order and direct, under pain of our indignation 
and anger, and under a penalty of ten thousand crowns, to be 
otherwise levied upon their property, and paid into our treasury, 
that they hold, and support, and observe, and shall cause to be 
inviolably held and observed by others, these our concessions 
and grants, one and all, as contained above ; also, our aforesaid 
viceroy himself, or by means of a commissioner or commissioners 
whom he may choose to nominate in our name for that purpose, 
shall cause to be handed over and transferred, in actual and 
tangible possession, as vacant and free, all, as is aforesaid, which 
we have conceded to the said Grand- Master and convent, to 
himself, or to a procurator named in his place, to whom in every^ 
way, in order that, on their side they complete and carry out 
the stipulation and agreement with the said Grand-Master and 
convent, we confer power, and commit our plenary authority ; 
and after possession shall have been duly handed over, they 
shall support the said Grand-Master and convent in that power, 
and shall protect them powerfully against every one, nor shall 
they cease to be paid rents, import or export duties, or any 
other taxes or rights, by either of the aforesaid, to whom we 
have granted this feudal tenure. We also, in order to give 
effect to this deed, in case it should be necessary, supply all 
defects, nullities, faults, or omissions, if any shall chance to be 
included, or shall arise, or be in any manner alleged, from which, 
in the plenitude of our royal authority, we grant a dispensation. 
For which purpose we have ordered the present deed to bo 



drawn oat and furnished with our official seal for the affiiirB of 
Sicily attached to it. Given at Castellum Francum^ on the 23id 
day of the month of March^ in the year of our Liord 1530 ; in thit 
of our reign as Emperor the tenth year ; as King of Castile, 
Granada, &c, the twenty-seventh ; of Navarre the sixteenth ; of 
Aragon, both Sicilies, Jerusalem, and elsewhere, the fifteenth ; 
and of all our realms the fifteenth.* In order that the aforesaid 
grant and all contained therein may remain intaotj and may be 
preserved for ever, we have drawn out three deeds, which in- 
clude the provisions of the said grant, in which deeds they 
appear, and stand more widely specified ; given under our com- 
mon leaden seal on the 25th day of April last past ; which deeds 
for their more perpetual and firmer efficacy, have been approved 
and confirmed by the apostolic see, as also may be seen more 
at large in certain apostolical letters lawfully promulgated for 
that purpose in the usual manner, under dates of Kome, the 
7th day of the kalends of May, in the year of our Lord 1530, 
and in the sixth year of the pontificate of our most holy lord, 
Clement. Hence it is that we, the Master, bailiffs, priors, 
preceptors, and brothers, holding in complete council the 
j)owers of a lawful chapter-general, desirous, according to the 
design of his before-mentioned imperial majesty, and the tenor of 
his grant, to have and to obtain possession of the said places, as 
specified in that grant, and to take the steps necessary and 
proper for that purpose, being confident in the probity of your 
good faith, with the most precise sedulity, care, and authority 
which we possess ; after the most mature and deliberate council, 
of our certain knowledge, in the most sure way, mode, law, and 
form in which we could and should, best and most validly per- 
form the same, do make, create, constitute, and solemnly ordain 
you, our venerable brothers, Hugo de Copons and John 
Boniface, here present, and undertaking this office, as procura- 
tors, agents, factors, and promoters of our business, and as 
general and special nuncios, in such a manner, that the gene- 
rality thereof shall not derogate from the speciality, or the con- 

* The original act of donation ends here, and is signed in the handwriting 
of Charles V. in the following manner — Yo el Rej. 


trary, for us and our Order, and the whole convent ; to promise 
and engage most efficaciously, with the requisite solemn oaths, in 
our name, and in that of our Order and convent, for us and for our 
successors, specially and expressly, according to the tenor of the 
said grant, to observe, keep, and for ever to preserve each 
and all of the conditions contained in the aforesaid grant, and 
especially to take the oaths at the hand of the most illustrious 
lord, Don Hector Pignatelli, Duke of Mount L^on, and most 
honourable viceroy of the kingdom of Sicily, and captain-general 
of the army, representing in these parts the person of his 
imperial and catholic majesty, the king of Sicily and its adja- 
cent islands ; also to make a stipulation and agreement to restore 
all the artillery which shall have been consigned to us, and of 
which an account has been taken, in the citadel or fortress of 
the aforesaid Tripoli, as specified in the said grant, and after 
the same form ; and also to seek and obtain executive deeds, 
and commissioners deputed and authorised to hand over and 
yield, to acquire and obtain for us true and actual, civil and 
natural, peaceable and quiet possession of the said places, 
according to the form and tenor of the said imperial grant con- 
ceded to us and to our Order in perpetuity. We give and con- 
cede to you, our procurators, in and concerning the aforesaid 
matters, full and free powers, and our entire authority, by virtue 
of which you will be empowered to do and complete such things 
as we ourselves could do if we had been present, even though 
they should be such things as would require more special 
authority than is expressed in the above. We promise and 
agree to maintain in good faith, as ratified, acceptable, and 
fixed for all future time, whatever shall have been done, agreed 
to, decided, promised, sworn, and executed by you, our procura- 
tors, in one and all of the above-mentioned matters. Under 
the gage and security of our property, and that of our Order, 
now and in times to come, wherever it may exist, we desire one 
and all of the brothers of our house, whatever dignity, authority, 
or office they may be in the enjoyment of, now or in times to 
come, that they shall never presume to contravene or oppose 
these our letters of authority to our procurators and envoys, but 
shall study to preserve the same inviolate. In witness of which 


our common leaden seal is attached to the above. Given tt 
Syracuse^ on the 24th day of the month of May 1530. 

No. 17. 

Thb following entry was made in the records of the Couocil 
of the Order on the 22nd of March, 1566. 

Die XXII. mensis Martii MDLXVI. 

Fr. Joannes de Valletta, Sacro Domus Hosp. Hier. 11 
Magister, periculorum anno superiore a suis militibus popaloque 
Meliteo in obsidione Turcica perpessorum memor, de condenda 
urbe nova eaque moenib arcibus et propugnaculis munienda 
inito cum proceribus consilio die Jovis, XXVTIL Martii, 
MDLXVL, Deum Omnipotentem Deiparamque Virginem 
numenque tutelare D. Jo. Baptistam Divosque caeteros molta 
precatus ut faustum faelixque religioni ChristiansB fieret, ac 
Ordini suo quod inceptabat bene cederet, prima orbis funda- 
menta in monte ab incolis Xeberas vocato jecit, eamque de suo 
nomine Vallettam, dato pro insignibus in parma miniata 
aurato leone, appellari voluit 
Beverendus Dominus Magnus Magister Frater Joannes de 

Admodum Reverendus Dominus Episcopus Melitensis Frater 


Reverendus Prior Ecclesiaa Dominus Frater Antonius 

Reverendus Maresciallus Dominus Frater Ouliblmus 


Reverendus Hospitalarius Dominus Frater Jacobus Deb- 


Reverendus Magnus Conservator Dominus Frater Petrus de 

Reverendus Admiralius Dominus Frater LuDOViCUS Broglia. 

Reverendus Prior Sancti ^gidii Dominus Frater LuDOVicus 

Du Pont. 


Reverendua Prior Alvernias Dominus Frater LuDOViCUS db 

Reverendus Prior Campani® Dominus Frater Joannes 


Reverendua Baiulivus Caapia Dominua Frater LuDOVicus DE 

Locumtenena Reverendi Magni Commendatorii Frater Joannes 

DE Montagu. 
Locumtenena Reverendi Turcopoleril Dominua Frater 

Oliyerius Starchi. 

Locumtenena Reverendi Magni Balulivil Alemanie Dominua 
Frater Conrard Scoualbach. 

Locumtenena Reverendi Cancellarii Dominua Frater Don 

Ferdinandus D'Alascon. 
Locumtenena Reverendi Thesaurarii Dominua Frater Carolus 

DE LA Rama. 

The next entry la not dated^ but was probably made on the 
day of ipauguration. It runa aa followa : — 

Inchoatio CIvitatIa ad Montem Sancti Elml. Die XXYIII. 
Menala Martii MDLXVL fuit incepta et inchoata Civitaa ad 
Montem Sancti Elml, cuiquidem civitati Yallettse nomen impo- 
aitum fuit Faxit Deua illud fauatum et felix* 

No. 18. 
Deed of King Philip and Queen Mary op England^ 


DATED 2nd April^ 1557. (Tranalated from the original 

The king and queen to all whom &c. &c., greeting : Since 
-with the moat undoubted right we claim to be the defendera of 
our aacred faith^ and alnce that poat forma part of the namea^ 
atyle^ title, and honoura of our regal dignity, which we have 


always hitherto used by divine favour, we consider that at this 
present time especially we shall be performing that which will 
be most pleasing to God, and to the whole world, if we could 
attempt any work by which the world should recognise us aa 
really the defenders of that sacred faith, the name, style, and 
tide of which we claim by the favour of God, by so directing 
our thoughts that we should perform somewhat for the divine 
glory, which should mark conspicuously, by that very act and 
deed, that we do truly defend and fight for the faith. For that 
purpose, recollecting and calling to mind the Hospital of St 
John of Jerusalem, which was lately suppressed in England, 
and its revenues diverted into the hands and possession of 
king Henry VIII., the beloved father of our aforesaid queen, 
and which, after the death of the said Henry VIII., father of 
our queen, have in a similar manner come, by the hereditary 
rights of our said queen, into our hands. Furthermore, 
havhig most easily and clearly recognised and perceived the 
fact that before the above mentioned Hospital was dissolved, 
the great part of its possessions and revenues were wont to 
be employed, devoted to, and expended on, the defence of 
Christianity, and for warring against the Turks and Infidels, 
and others who openly annoyed the Catholic faith of Christ, 
and our mother the Holy Church, by the Prior and military 
brethren of the said Hospital ; which Prior and military 
brethren not only have renounced this world with all its vanities, 
but have also been wont, when time and occasion called for it, 
with their utmost strength and aid, to expend wealth, blood, 
and life itself, in fighting against the Turks and Infidels all 
over the world. Therefore, we are most earnestly desirous, 
having carefully considered the measure, with the fervent piety 
which we owe towards the defence and extension of the Catholic 
faith, to renew, restore, create, institute, and establish the 
sacred Order and religion of the English brothers of St. J'ohn 
of Jerusalem, in this our kingdom of England, with their 
accustomed titles, style, and dignities ; and also to adorn and 
decorate the said religion, or Order, with all the old manors, 
lands, tenements, possessions, hereditaments, privileges, and 
prerogatives which formerly belonged to the said Hospital^ and 


which have come to, and now remain In, our hands, for the 
support of the dignity of the said Order. 

Havinoc also communicated our desire to the reverend father 
in Christ, Reginald, by the grace of God, Cardinal Pole, a 
presbyter of the sacred Roman Church, under the title of St. 
Mary Cosmed, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Legate of our 
sacred lord the Pope, and of the apostolic see, to us the above- 
mentioned king and queen, and to our whole kingdom of 
England and Ireland, and the countries adjacent thereto, wc 
have asked the aforesaid most reverend father, and have most 
earnestly desired of him, that by the apostolic authority which 
is vested in the said most reverend father, he should be pleased 
to decree the restoration and establishment of the said Hospital 
to its pristine condition. 

The which most reverend father, as the duty of the legation 
which he exercises requires at his hands, acceding to these 
pious and just wishes of ours, by the authority conceded to 
him in the legation which he exercises, has restored, replaced, 
and reformed the said Hospital of St John of Jerusidem in 
England to its former condition, and has also erected and in- 
stituted the Priory and Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in 
England, under the same title of St John of Clerkenwell, 
which it possessed before the said dissolution ; and has ordained 
and appointed our well -beloved Thomas Tresham, Knight, as 
Prior of the said Hospital; and our well-beloved Richard 
Shelley, Turcopolier of the Turcopolicrship, as commander or 
preceptor of Sliebcch and Helston ; and also as commanders or 
preceptors, the fathers Felices de la Nucci, bailiff of the 
bailiwick of Aquila ; Cuthbert Laithen, of Newland ; Edward 
Browne, of Temple Bruer ; Thomas Thomell, of Willoughton ; 
Henry Gerard, of Ively and Barowe; George Aylmer, of 
South Baddesleye; Jacob Shelley, of Temp le Combe; and 
Oliver Starkey, of Quenyngton. 

Know, therefore, that we, the aforesaid king and queen, not 
only approve of the above erection and institution of the said 
Order, made and decreed by the above-mentioned reverend 
father, but also earnestly desire that the same may be con- 
sidered as efficacious and valid in our law, to all intents and 



l)urpo9C0, on nccount of the special unil sincere aficctioa i 
wc bear to that Order and religion. 

And further, by oar special grace and certain knowledgi 
decree, we ordain and grant by these presents, for ouTBelv« 
the heirs and successors of our aforesaid queen, to the 
Prior, biuliffe, and commanders of the aboTe-meutioned 
jiilal of St. John of Jerusalem in England ; that tfae 
Prior, bailifT:^, and commanders, and whatever other ] 
bailiffs, or commanders of the Order, may for the time 1 
exi^t, shall form a body corporate, in word and deed, unde 
title of the Prior and brethren of the Hospital of St. Jol 
Jerusalem in England, to be so named and called of othe 
perpetuity ; and tliat they shall have a perpetual eucces 
and we make, create, and erect the said Prior and brethren 
a body corporate, in deed and name ; and we make, ordain 
receive them as a body corporate; and that they shoil hi 
perpetual succession by these presents. And that the 
Prior and his successors eliall be enabled to prosecute, to i 
complaints, and to satisfy, or to put in a defence, or to be 
complaints against non-contents, in all courts of law vithh 
realm, and in those of the heirs and successors of our 
queen, or elsewhere ; in and upon all and every cause, ac 
deed, brief, demand, or dispute, real, personal, or mixe< 
well in s))iritual matters as in temjwral, and in all other th 
causes, and matters wliatsoever. And that the said Prior 
brethren may, under the title of the Prior and brethren of 
Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, take, reo 
enjoy, acquire, give, alienate, bequeath, devise, and exec 
after the same manner and form in which other incorpor 
bodies, and other corporations within our realm of Engl 
arc permitted to take, receive, acquire, give, alienate, beque 
devise, and execute all lordships, manors, lands, tenemt 
rectories, pensions, portions, and all other hereditaments, po« 
sions, nnd emoluments, as well spiritual as temporal, and 
other things whatsoever, which wc, by our letters patent, 
heirs and successors of our queen, or any other person 
persons whatsoever, may give and concede, according to 
laws, and those of the heirs and successors of our said quf 

AP1>ENDIX. 483 

and that the said Pnor and brethren of the Hospital of St. 
John of Jerusalem in England, and their successors, shall have 
a common seal, which they shall append to all charts, testimonies, 
and other writings and deeds of their execution, touching and 
concerning themselves, or the above-mentioned Hospital. And 
further, of our yet fuller grace we have given and conceded, 
and by these presents do, for ourselves and for the heirs and 
successors of our above-mentioned queen, give and concede to 
the said Prior and brethren, all that chapter-house and site 
formerly belonging to the said Hospital of St John of Jerusa- 
lem in England, situated and lying in Clerkenwell, in our 
county of Middlesex; and all that our house and gateway, 
called the gatehouse of the same Hospital, together with all 
that our church, and all the houses, buildings, structures, 
cellars, terraces, rooms, halls, kitchens, bams, stables, dovecotes, 
orchards, gardens, lakes, fish-ponds, and all our land and soil 
and hereditaments whatsoever within the enclosure, limits, pre * 
cincts, and circuit of the same chapter- house and site, and all 
that our wood and plantation called Great St. John's Wood, 
lying near and adjacent to the park of Maribone, in our county 
of Middlesex ; and all other lands, tenements, gardens, streams, 
and watercourses, commons, hereditaments, and enclosures what- 
soever, appertaining to us, beyond and attached to the aforesaid 
site, which were formerly in the rightful tenure and occupation 
of the Prior and brethren of the said Hospital at the time of 
its dissolution ; also all utensils, hangings, and furniture what- 
soever, within the aforesaid chapter-house and site ; and all the 
lead, iron, and glass in and upon the aforesaid church ; and of, 
in, and upon, the said gatehouse ; and on the other houses and 
buildings within the precincts of the said site and chapter-house. 
We have also given, and for the aforesaid reasons do give by 
these presents, for ourselves, and the heirs and successors of our 
said queen, to the above-mentioned Prior and brethren, all those 
lordships and manors of Purfleet, Wytham, Temple Khodon, 
and Chingeforde, with their rights, members, and belongings, in 
our county of Essex, &c. &c. &o. [Here follow a long enume- 
ration of the possessions formerly in the possession of the Order 
and now retransferred to them.] 

1 I 2 



Ko. 19. 

Extracts feoh a Masuscript Histoby of the P 
FicATioss OF Malta, dated is 1717; to wiircH 


document, which b now in the possessioa of the ! 
Engineer Dei)artment at tliat station, ia written in Fi 
and bears the following title : — Hiatoricnl Memoi: 
general Difscrtntion on the ForlificatioDs of Malta ; eli< 
what remains to be done in order to place them in a at 
defence : together with several Letters and Certificates 
the Ministers and General OfBcera of tlie Armies of Fi 
which bear upon the subject.) 

The manusciipt commences with a brief recapitulation c 
loss of Rhodes, and the subsequent arrival of the Ord 
Malta. It then proceeds thus: — 

One of the first cares of the Grand- Master Li'Isle Adao 
to look after the fortifications, and to place himself under 
from any irruption by pirates. For this purpose he deej 
the ditches at the head of tlie bourg, added some flanks I 
enceinte, and made several additions to the castle of St. An 

The graiid-prior of Toulouse, Lieutenant, in the absen 
the Grand- Master, Peter Dupont, continued these works ; 
years later, adding the bastion which ttanks the castle oi 
Angelo. In 1541, the Grand-Master John Od'nieJes, caI1< 
his assistance Caramolin, chief engineer to the emperor, in c 
to consult him as to the fortifications of the island. This ol 
did nut consider the bourg or the castle of St. Angelo caj 
of a lengthened defence; but proposed to fortify M 
Sceberras ; the great expense, however, and the fear that 
new fort should not be com[)leted in time, caused the Gr 
Master to content himself with deepening the ditches of 
bourg, and building the cavalier in the castle of SL An{ 
which lie intended to raise sufficiently high to dominate i 
the Marsa Musceit. But some years afterwards, the gn 

AprENDix. 485 

prior of Capua, having represented very strongly in full 
council the weak state of the fortifications, and the impossi- 
bility of defending them if the Turk should arrive with a 
superior force, his arguments bore so great weight in that 
assembly, that it was promptly decreed to commence fresh 
works in the bourg, to occupy Mount St Julian (since called 
fort St. Michael, and now the island of Senglea); and to con- 
struct a fort upon Mount Scebcrras, for which purpose three 
commissioners were appointed, each (with the assistance of 
other Knights) to superintend the construction of one of these 
works, which were traced by the Spanish engineer Don Pedro 
Pardo. Every assistance was rendered by the convent. The 
bailiffs and grand-crosses contributed part of their plate and 
their gold chains ; deputies were sent into the different countries 
of Europe to stimulate the absent ; the galleys were detained in 
harbour that their crews might be made available ; and, in short, 
so great diligence was used, that in the month of May in the 
following year (viz. 1553) the works were so advanced that 
guns were mounted on both the forts of St. Michael and St. 
Elmo; the new bastions at the head of the bourg, together 
with the ditches right across, were also completed. 

In 1554, the Grand-Master La Sangle fortified Mount St 
Michael on the side of the Corradin hill, enclosing it with a 
bastioned enceinte; and built those houses which constituted 
the new town, and were called Senglea, whilst the bourg was 
called from that time the old town. 

The Grand-Master John de la Valette, who was elected on 
the 22nd of August 1557, desired much to fortify Mount 
Sceberras; and for that purpose called in Anthony Quinsan 
de Montalin, an engineer of high reputation, with whom he 
minutely inspected the locality ; but this project fell to the 
ground, and the Order was compelled to postpone so extensive 
a work. However, upon hearing of a large armament which 
was then preparing at Constantinople, he hastened to complete 
the front of the island of Senglea, and to attach a chain which 
closed the entrance to that port Tcrrepleins were added to the 
ramparts, and a platform was constructed at the foot of the 
Qoatie of St Angelo. These works were carried on with such 

I I 3 

486 AlTENDiX. 

extreme diligence, that in four months they were in a defenaUe 
condition. The Grand-Master himself, with the grand-croflses, 
and other Knights who followed their exaDGiple^ laboured in 
person, and carried earth in baskets for the work. At the sug- 
gestion of the yiceroj of Sicily, a ravelin was added to fort St 
Elmo, on the side of the Marsa Musceit, to cover the counter* 

[A brief description of the siege of Malta here ensues.] 

On the 18th of March 1566, the Grand- Master left the 
bourg, which since the siege had received the name of the Citti 
Yittoriosa, and accompanied by the prelates, grand-crosses, 
and Knights, crossed over to Mount Sceberras, which was 
covered with tents and flags ; and there, under one of the most 
magnificent, a solemn mass was sung ; and, after various prayers 
and benedictions, the first stone of the new town was laid^ in 
the bastion of St. John; and at the same time the Graiid- 
Master presented a gold chain and his portrait to the engineer 
Laparet, who had been sent by the Pope to design the new 
town, which was subsequently, by a decree of the council^ called 
the Citta Valetta. 

It was not without much dispute, and a great diversity of 
opiniou, that this new town was constructed. The viceroy of 
Sicily, Don Garcia, arrived at Malta on the 3rd of April, 
accompanied by several engineers and officers of high rank, 
who found great fault with the design, and were of opinion that 
the trace of the city should be restricted to three bastions, 
under the idea that the project, as then designed, was too large, 
and beyond the powers of the Order to execute. But the 
Grand-Master, having explained that it was his intention to 
establish his head-quarters there, with that of his convent, and 
also a portion of the general population, they gave in to his 
arguments, and the work was carried on with such a number of 
labourers that at first a thousand crowns a day were expended, 
which was afterwards, however, reduced to the same amount 

The work was carried on for several years with undiminished 
energy, the death of La Valette having caused no relaxation* 
His successor, the Grand-Master del Monte, who well knew 


the utility of the project, urged it forward with equal zeal ; and 
eventually the fortifications became so advanced, that at the end 
of 1570 the engineer Laparet took leave of the Grand-Master, 
after haying given full instructions to Jerome Cassan, the 
engineer of the Order, as to the work yet left to be completed. 
On the 17th of March in 1571, the Grand-Master transferred the 
convent from the Bourg, where it had always hitherto been 
established, to the new city, where each one found such accom- 
modation as he could contrive to provide for himself. 

The following years were employed in completing the forti- 
fications of Yaletta, building the church of St. John, the 
auberges, the Grand-Master's palace, and other houses. 
Nothing new was designed until about the year 1635, when, 
upon the report of a new armament on the part of the Turks, 
the Grand-Master Lascaris called in Colonel Floriani to inspect 
the fortifications, and to add what he might judge necessary to 
place them in a better state of defence. This engineer, on the 
17th of October of that same year, presented to the Grand- 
Mastcr and council a plan of a suburb, accompanied with his 
arguments in favour of the project, asserting that the city of 
Yaletta was not capable of a lengthened resistance, and that, 
although he had constructed and defended many fortresses, he 
had not sufficient talent to turn a bad work, like that of Yaletta, 
into a good one. As this opinion appeared novel, and at va- 
riance with that of all the convent, commissioners were appointed 
to examine into the question : who came to the decision that 
the proposed new line of works was too strongly defended in 
the centre, whilst the flanks, terminating in very acute angles, 
were too weak, and easy to be battered from the neighbouring 

Not content with this decision, the Grand-Master despatched 
the Chevalier de Yerteua into all the courts of Italy, and more 
particularly to the head-quarters of the two armies of France 
and Spain, then at war in Piedmont, to consult their generals 
and engineers on the new project ; who were all of the same 
opinion as the commissioners of the convent bad been, as was 
reported to the Grand-Master by the Chevalier de Yerteua in 

I I 4 


Notwithstanding all these objections to the design of Cobod 
Floriani, it was carried into execution ; and was already far 
advanced towards completion, when Father Fiorensola, a mo&k 
of the order of St. Augustine, a man of the highest talent, 
and who afterwards became a cardinal, having been requested 
by the Grand-Master and council to visit the fortifications, and 
more especially to inspect the enceinte of the Floriana, and to 
give his opinion on it, made a report to the council on the 28tk 
of September 1638. He praised and warmly approved of the 
front of the city of Valetta, of which, if thej added three 
demilunes in front of the curtains, they would make an im- 
pregnable place ; whilst on the contrary, the fortifications of 
Floriana, occupying as they did an extent of rocky ground 
which could never be made use of in constructing approaches, 
would, if captured themselves, serve for that purpose to an 
advancing enemy. The flanks were too feeble, whilst the centre 
was encumbered with a mass of works perfectly useless; and 
his opinion was, that although upwards of 80,0OO crowns bad 
already been expended on the works, it would still be more 
prudent to destroy them entirely, than to expend double that 
amount in completing them ; whilst the proper spot to fortifj, 
and the one the most important for the safety of the Order, was 
the height of St. Margaret's ; which, whilst protecting both the 
Bourg and the Senglea, would also cover the harbour, and give 
admission to succours in time of a siege, without which it would 
not be possible for a boat to live in the harbour ; in which case, 
Valetta being left to itself, could not long maintain itself. 
These arguments carried so great weight, that the project was 
commenced at once, and three bastions with two curtains were 
constructed. This work was resumed last year (1716). 

On the Ist of April 1640, the Marquis of St. Ange arrived 
at Malta ; and, after a careful examination of the fortifications, 
made a report to the Grand-Master and council, in which he 
stated, that although the trace of the fortification of Valetta 
was good, still, had it been constructed in the present age, when 
greater experience had been gained, it would doubtless have 
been much improved in design, so as to have been impregnable ; 
that the principal thing now to be effected was to give facility 


for the admission of supports m case of a siege. Afterwards, 
entering into detail, he urged that the four counterguards should 
be promptly completed, which bad been commenced on the 
Valetta front, with their ditches and covert way ; that it would 
have been far wiser had the trace of Colonel Floriani been 
kept closer to the main line, and that he thought it would be 
more advantageous to destroy that portion of the work which 
had been commenced, and to bring it 1350 yards nearer, giving 
it a new form, more suitable to the ground ; that it was im- 
possible to take too many precautions to provide for the admission 
of succours, and that for this purpose it was absolutely necessary 
to fortify the Bourg and Senglea, and to complete what had 
been commenced at St. Margaret's, in accordance with the 
design of Cardinal Fiorensola for covering the harbour. He 
further proposed to form a retrenchment to the post of Castile, 
in the Bourg ; to add two demilunes to its front ; to give to the 
head of the island a more convenient and regular figure ; to 
repair and raise all the ramparts throughout the enceinte ; and 
lastly, in order to protect the entry and exit of the harbour, he 
proposed to occupy the point of Corso with a small fort, of 
which he gave a trace, now called RicasolL 

(Here follow reports made about the same time by Count 
Arpajon, Count de Payan, the Chevalier Palaviciny, and the 
Chevalier Tranquillo Vincenti d'Urbino.) 

So many reports having been made at the same time upon 
these Fortifications, and so great pains having been taken to col- 
lect such a mass of advice from the most talented engineers of 
the day, it would be supposed that the greatest possible exertions 
would have been made to carry out these various works ; but 
all danger of an immediate invasion of the Turk having ceased, 
nothing more was done in connection with them until the year 
1710. After the capture of Candia in 1669, the defence of 
which was an honour to Christianity, the Grand-Master, 
Nicholas Cottoner, dreading the vicinity of so powerful an 
enemy, formed the design of constructing that stupendous for- 
tification which bears his name, in order to secure the harbours, 
to strengthen the head of the Bourg, and that of Senglea ; and 
to provide a place of shelter for the inliabitants of the country. 


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APPENDIX. ^ "^ * 

suited also on the subject ; and in his report, dated 4th Decern- 
l)er in the same year, he found several faults with the project. 
He considered, in the first place, that in such irregular ground 
as that of Malta it was impossible to find a site sufiBciently even 
for so extended a work ; from which it would result that in 
endeavouring to follow this extreme regularity, another fault 
would be committed, as it would be impossible to make all the 
fronts equally strong; and that the engineer would have 
achieved a better work by suiting his fortification to the ground 
than by striving to force nature into following his arbitrary 
lines. He also added, that the line of defence being too short, 
the number of the bastions had to be increased, as also the 
demilunes. He also disapproved of the ditches being parallel 
to the faces of the bastions, as they could not be seen through- 
out their extent by the opposite fianks ; or if they were con- 
structed so as to be seen, they would become too large. 

The Count of Verneda, chief engineer of the republic of 
Venice, gave his opinions in a long report dated 30th July 
1671 ; in which, entering into a detail of what he had received, 
he observed that the space enclosed by the proposed lines was 
very small in comparison to their length, and that with the same 
nine bastions and two demi-bastions not only could the Grand 
Harbour, Senglea, and the Bourg be enclosed, but even Ricasoli 
might be taken in, including Mount Salvator and Renella, as he 
showed in a plan which accompanied his report, and of which a 
bad copy exists in the registers of the chancery. He considered 
that the cavaliers proposed in the centre of each bastion, parallel 
to its faces, would do more harm than good ; that, moreover, 
they would be destroyed by the same batteries that breached 
the bastions, and that they would prevent the construction of 
retrenchments. He also made some observations on the other 
projects of Count Valperga, disapproving highly of the horn- 
work proposed at Floriana, covered by a crown-work; both 
being too small, and, consequently, incapable of defence. 

He disapproved of the little fort proposed for the island in 
the Marsa Musceit ; which he objected to even more than that 
of Bictisoli. He suggested the addition of mines in all direc- 
tions, proposing that where the depth of the ditches admitted of 



\l it they should be on three levels. There were several otliei 

I' reports, more against than in favour of this stupendous uuder 

V taking ; still it was prosecuted with every diligence, and a pro 

.' portionate expenditure. During this interval. Count Valpergi 

ji. busied himself constantly in tracing out his fortification; am 

•t when he left he transferred the general superintendence of th 

work to the Chevalier Blondel, with a lengthy memoir, i: 
wiiich were included several repairs and additions which h 
proposed making to the existing fortifications^ particularly i 
the i>ost of Provence in Floriana ; and a sketch of the hor 
and crown works which were afterwards executed. The wor 
at the Cottonera was carried on for ten years consecutiveh 
I until it was raised throughout to the height of the cordon ; b 

which time so considerable a sum had been expended that th 
treasury was exhausted, and the work was stopped, the deati 
ij of the Grand- Master contributing much to that result. 

* The great energy with which the work was commenced wa 

followed by an equally marked lull, and for thirty-five year 
not a stone was added to the ramparts, until last year (1716) 
when, in the execution of a new project, parapets were addec 
to the bastions St Peter and St. Paul, St John and St 
Clement, with their intermediate curtains. The Grand-Mastei 
CarafFa, desirous of signalising the first years of his rule, bj 
finishing the fortifications of Floriana, which, although com- 
menced so long since, were still very imperfect, and by alsc 
continuing the Cottonera lines, wrote to Colonel Don Carlos dc 
Grunenburg, engineer to the king of Spain, then in Sicily, to 
*' beg him to visit Malta, which he did, and presented a full and 

detailed report on the works, dated the 14th March 1681. He 
paid a second visit to Malta in February 1686, and then urged 
the Grand-Master to finish as rapidly as possible the city oi 
Valetta and Floriana. I'he principal work which it appears ho 
carried out at that time was the construction of four batteries be- 
neath the castle of St Angelo, which see and protect the entrance 
of the harbour ; and he was so eager for the execution of this work, 
that he proposed to complete it at his own expense. The next 
year he gave a design for, and commenced the execution of, the 
fortifications around St. Elmo, as they are to be now seen; 
proposing, however, casemates in all the curtains, which were 


not carried out, but which would have been very useFul to the 
Order. The island in the Marsa Musceit appearing to him in 
dangerous proximity to Valetta, on account of the facility with 
which an enemy could obtain possession of it and erect batteries, 
he proposed to occupy it by a fort, with four bastions, the 
design for which is now in the chancery, but whose execution, 
like that of many other things, has been hitherto deferred. 
]VIatters were in this state when the undermentioned engineers 
arrived, who, praising and approving of what had already been 
done, have carried on the works to the state in which they now 
are, and have at the same time prepared plans and sections, ac- 
companied by reports and other details for their completion and 
to place them in a state in which they will be as great an honour 
to the Order of Malta as a source of terror and dread to the 
enemies of Christianity. 

Then follow the undermentioned documents : — 

Letter from the Grand* Master Perellos to the ambassador at 
the French Court, dated 28th October, 1714. 

Letter of Louis XIV., king of France, in answer to the 
above : — 

My Cousin, — Although I make no doubt that the Seigneurs 
de Tigne and Gion de Mondion, engineers, who are proceeding 
to Malta for the service of your Order, will receive all due 
marks of your approbation, more particularly when you discover 
that they display as much capacity as zeal, I am nevertheless 
desirous, on this occasion, to recommend them again to your 
notice, and to inform you that, having always been well satisfied 
with their services, I considered, that in selecting them, in ac- 
cordance with the requests made to me in your name, they were 
the persons best adapted for carrying out your views. You 
may also rest assured that, being equally desirous of giving to 
your Order every possible proof of my protection, as of marking 
the particular esteem which I entertain for yourself, I shall do 
the like, with pleasure, on all future occasions. Whereupon, 
my cousin, I pray God that he may have you in His sacred 
and holy keeping. 

Given at Versailles, this 26th January, 1715. 

(Signed) Louis. 



Letter of Mons. le Peletier de Souzy, Minister of Frefid: 
Fortifications, to the Grand-Master, on the eame subject 

Instructions from the Venerable Congregation of Wtr t9 
\ Mons. de Tign4, upon the subject of the Fortifications of Milti 

Report of the Cheyalier de Tign£ on the above subject, dited 
^ 25th September 1715. 

Keport of the Congregation of War to the Grand-Master, oa 
tlie same subject. 

Letter of the Grand-Master to Mona. le Peletier de Souzr, 
concerning the return of Mons. de Tignd to France ; and begging 
that the king will permit his early return to Malta : dated ii 
September 1715. 

Beport of Philip de Vendome, Grand-Prior of France, on th 
state of the Fortifications. 

Letter of the Chevalier dc Tigne, stating that the Duke < 
Orleans will not spare him to return to Malta ; dated Ist Apr 

Certificate of the Count Vauban upon tho project of Mon 
de Tigne : — 

I, Count of Vauban, Lieutenant-General of the Armies < 
the King, Grand-Cross of the Military Order of St, Loui 
Governor of the city and castle of Bethune^ Engineer as 
Director-General of Fortifications, Lord, Baron, and Count k 
Busseul, Moulin sur I'Arcouse, Poisson, St. Geonin, La Lattii 
and elsewhere : I have seen, with satisfaction, the plans, pre 
files, and reports which Mons. de Tign£, brigadier of the en 
gineers of the king, has drawn up, concerning the fortificatioa 
of Malta ; but at the same time that I admire the grandeur a» 
'j!( the magnificence of the works, and the prodigious expenditur 

which has necessarily been made to bring them to the point ii 
which they now are, I was not a little surprised to perceive th( 
imperfect state in which they have been left, not being reallj 
in a state of actual defence at all. 

The alterations and repairs which are proposed for the cover 
way of the Valetta front appear indispensable, as well as thi 
communications from the town by the bottom of the ditches. 

It was equally necessary to strengthen and place in a propei 


Btatc of defence the two flanks of Floriana, the power of which 
is by no means proportioned to that of the front. The proposed 
lunette and its covert way will give a great protection on the 
right side. The retrenchment proposed behind the Capuchin 
convent also appears very judicious, as well as the little lunette 
in the re-entering place of arms of the covert way on the left ; 
to which we presume that all the perfection will be given which 
it ought to have, as to its size, the height of its parapets, the 
banquettes, places of arms, traverses, and other renewals, as 
marked on the plan, and that the glacis will be finished accord- 
ing to the lines which have been laid down. 

The steps which this engineer has proposed for the fortifica- 
tions of the Cottonera appear equally judicious ; and nothing 
better can be done than to finish Fort St. Margaret, with the 
two communications to the right and left, to Senglea and the 
Bourg, as they are laid down on the plan and report which have 
been sent to me : and making use of the enceinte of the Cot- 
tonera, in the state in which it now is, with the proposed addi- 
tions, as an excellent retrenchment, which will act as a first 
enceinte to Fort St. Margaret, and will render it a far superior 
work than the Cottonera by itself, even if it were completed, with 
all the development which a work of such importance would re- 
quire ; since the bastions of Valperga and St. Paul will always, 
owing to the height of their revetments, be exposed to the 
cannon of the enemy. The retrenchment in the bastion of 
Salvator is equally necessary, to cover the head of the Bourg, 
whose fate will always depend on that of this bastion, on account 
of the great command and advantage which its right flank has 
over the place. 

What is proposed for the strengthening of Fort Tign6 is ex- 
cellent ; and it appears to me that too much precaution cannot 
be taken to maintain this point, since on its preservation depends 
that of the harbour, and consequently of the place itself. 

It will be also indispensable to occupy the heights of the 
Coradino and the Island of the Lazaretto (in the Marsa Musceit) 
— which take in reverse and enfilade most of the works of Valetta, 
Floriana, and the Cottonera — by placing on them forts suitable 
to the ground, the communication to which can be made through 


the gorge, by mcana of the small boats of the baibcor,'* 
which purpose a little redoubt should be made^ covered b| 
', the view of the enemy. 

i. When theee works shall have been completed, whiclitkifitl 

! appear to me to involve too considerable an expenditure. &! 

• Order of Malta will be able to boast of being possessed of v^ I 

' of the most magnificent fortresses in Europe, which, ik 

defended by the valour of its Knights^ ought to be impregsait 
to the utmost cfibrts of the Ottoman empire. In testimoar. | 
which I have signed this certificate, and affixed the seal of r I 



!/ Given at Paris, on the 15th of February 1716. 



CertiGcate of Mens, de Valory, Lieutenant-General of::* 
Armies of the King, Engineer and Director of the Fortificau* 
of Flanders, on the same subject. 

Certificate of Mons. Favart, Brigadier of the Armies of tk 
King, Engineer and Director of the Fortifications of D'Aunii 
Foitou, Blaye, Mcdoc, &c., on the same subject. 

Letters from the Duke of Orleans, the Marquis D'AsfeU, 
; and the bailiff of Mesmes, notifying the return of Chevalier de 

^' Tign6 to Malta in June 1716. 

j. Report on the then state of the fortifications of Malta, by tie 

Chevalier de Tignd, dated 15th September 1716. 


Estimate of works necessary to complete the fortificatioi& 
(In Maltese crowns, value about 2^. each.) 


To render bomb-proof the magazines under the cava- 
liers at the Porta Reale 

To repair the parapets and make the necessary ban- 
quettes round the fortifications, particularly the Porta 
Reale front 



To renew the lower flanks of the bastions in this front 50( 

Carried forward . 4,5(K 






Brought forward . 4,500 
To render practicable the communications of the place 

to the ditches, counterguards, &c. . . 600 

To make caponieres in the bottom of the ditches . 600 
To make communications in the counterscarps to the 

counterguards • • . • 600 

To repair the interior of the counterguards . . 400 

To make caponieres and traverses in their ditches • 600 

To re-form the covert ways and construct places d'armes 3,000 

To repair the glacis in the worst places • • 3,000 

Total for Valetta . . . 13,300 


Making the necessary communications covered from the 

Coradino . • • . . 1,000 

Proposed, re trencha\ent in the bastion of Provence • 10,000 
To finish the parapet on the curtain of the Porte des 

Poires ..... 500 

To complete the centre bastion . • • 2,000 

To form banquettes along the entire front . • 300 
To construct the proposed retrenchment behind the 

Capuchin convent • • . . 5,000 

To construct bomb-proof magazines . . 11,000 

To make caponieres and traverses in the ditches . 1 ,000 

To make the proposed gate, with lunette in front • 5,000 

To finish the horn-work . . . 500 

To finish the crown-work • . , 1,000 

Total for Floriana . • . 37,300 

Proposed fort on the Island of the Lazaretto . 25,000 

Do. do. on the Point Dragut . . 3,000 

Island of SengUa. 

Alterations to the right bastion exposed to the Coradino 1*000 

To open the ditch in front of the entrance • • 200 

To construct a covert way along the front . . 700 

To make the proposed retrenchment . . 5,000 

Total for Senglea 



K K 


Fort Ricasolu 

He-forming the covert way with traverses and places 

d*armes . • • • • 1,000 

Constructing a demi-counterguard on the left side • 2,000 

Altering the sallyports • . • 200 

Constructing two caponieres and six traverses • 400 

Constructing a large traverse under the right bastion • 150 

Repairing the parapets and banquettes . • 200 

Constructing a retrenchment in the gorge of the fort • 6,000 
Constructing a circular battery to defend the entrance 

of the harbour • • • • 1,000 

Total for Ricasoli . . . 10,950 

Grand total of the project, 249,750 crowns, or 24,975/L 

No. 20. 

Pboclamation appointing the Emperor Paxtl as Grand- 
Master OF THE Order of St. John. 

We, the Bailiffs, Grand-Crosses, Commanders, Knights of the 
Grand-Priory of Russia, and all other members of the Order 
of St John of Jerusalem, present in this imperial city of St. 
Petersburg, reflecting on the disastrous situation of our Order ; 
its total want of resources, the loss of its sovereignty and chief 
place of residence, the dispersion of its members, wandering 
through the world without a chief or any fixed spot of ren- 
dezvous, the increasing dangers by which it is threatened, and 
the plans formed by usurpers to invade its property and win it 
entirely ; being desirous and in duty bound to employ all 
possible methods to prevent the destruction of an Order equally 
ancient and illustrious, which has ever been composed of the 
most select nobility, and which has rendered such im{)ortant 
service to the Chrbtian world ; whose institutions were founded 

K K 2 


on such excellent principles as must not only be the firmed 
support to all legitimate authority^ but tend to its own prese^ 
vation and future existence ; animated by gratitude towiris 
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Rnssias for tbe 
favours bestowed on our Order, penetrated with veneration for 
his virtues, and confidently relying on his sacred word " that 
he will not only support us in our institutions, privileges, and 
honours, but that he will employ every possible means to re- 
establish our Order in its original independent situation, where 
it contributed to the advantage of Christendom in general, and 
of every diflferent state in particular." 

Knowing the impossibility in our present circumstances, the 
members' of our Order being generally dispersed, of preserving 
all the forms and customs prescribed in our constitution and 
statutes ; but being nevertheless desirous to secure the dignity 
and the power inherent to the sovereignty of our Order, by 
making a proper choice of a successor to D'Aubusson, L'Ide 
Adam, and La Valette : 

We, the BailiflFs and Grand-Crosses, the Commanders and 
Knights of the Grand-Priory of Russia, and all other members 
of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, assembled at St 
Petersburg, the chief place of residence of our Order, not only 
in our own names, but in those of the other languages, grand- 
priories in general, and all their members in particular, who 
shall unite themselves to us by a firm adhesion to our principles, 
proclaim His Imperial Majesty the Emperor and Autocrat of 
all the Russias, Paul I., as Grand-Master of the Order of St. 
John of Jerusalem. 

In virtue of this present proclamation, we promise, accordincr 
to our laws and statutes, and that by a sacred and solemn 
engagement, obedience, submission, and fidelity to His Imperial 
Majesty, the Most Eminent Grand-Master. 

Given at St. Petersburg, the residence of our Order, this 
present Wednesday, the 27th October 1798. 


Acceptation of the Emperor Paul of the post* of Grand- 
Master, in answer to the above proclamation. 

We, by the grace of God, Paul I., Emperor and Autocrat of 
all the Russias, &c. &c. 

In consideration of the wish expressed to us by the Bailiffs, 
Grand-Crosses, Commanders, Knights of the illustrious Order 
of St. John of Jerusalem, of the Grand-Priory of Russia, and 
other members assembled together in our capital, in the name 
of all the well-disposed part of their fraternity, we accept the 
title of Grand-Master of this Order, and renew, on this occasion, 
the solemn promises we have already made in quality of pro- 
tector, not only to preserve ail the institutions and privileges of 
this illustrious Order for ever unchanged, in regard to the free 
exercise of its religion, with everything relating to the Knights 
of tlie Roman Catholic faith, and the jurisdiction of the Order, 
the seat of which we have fixed in this our Imperial residence ; 
but also we declare that we will unceasingly employ for the 
future all our care and attention for the augmentation of the 
Order, for its re-establishment in the independent position which 
is requisite for the salutiry end of its institution, for assuring 
its solidity, and confirming its utility. We likewise declare, 
that in taking thus upon us the supreme government of the 
Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and considering it our duty to 
make use of every possible means to obtain the restoration of 
the property of which it has been so unjustly deprived, we do 
not pretend in any degree, as Emperor of all the Russias, to 
the smallest right or advantage which may strike at or pre- 
judice any of the powers, our allies; on the contrary, we shall 
always have a peculiar satisfaction in contributing, at all times, 
everything in our power towards strengthening our alliance 
with the said powers. 

Our grace and imperial favour towards the Order of St. John 
of Jerusalem in general, and each of its members in particular, 
shall ever remain invariably the same. 

Given at St. Petersburg, the 13th of November, in the year 
1798, in the third year of our reign. 

(Signed) Paul. 

(Countersigned) Prince Besborodko. 

K K 3 

Count Soltikopp Lieutenant op the Qit. 

Wk, Alexander I., by the grace of God, &c. &c., b< 
;;iving a proof of our particular eatccm and afll 
llie sovereign Order of St. John of Jeniealein, c 
bike the eaid Order under our imperial protectio 
will employ every possible care and attention to 
nil its rights, honours, privileges, and posse^gions. 

For thia purpose we eomniand and ordain, thn 
Field-Marshal, Dailitf, Count dc Solilkofi* shou 
exercise the functions and authority of Lieutcnanl 
Master of the wud Orderj and convene n sitting 
couneil to make known our intontiona that the imj 
should be still regarded as the chief sent of tlie so 
of St. John of Jerusalem, until such time oa 
sUidl permit the election of a Grand-Master, aec 
ancient forms and statutes. 

In the interim, we ordain, in our quality of f 
the sacred council tthall have the government of t 
i<hall make known to all the bnguages and pri 
determination ; inviting them, at the eame time, 
jiroper interest, to submit to the decrees issued 

We confirm, by this present declaration, ou 
Buaaian and Catholic priories, established in our ( 
enjoyment of the projKrty, privileges, and admi 
rcadv bestowed on them : and it is our will and i 

Grand-MwtOT to \>e elected, ,,1,0 bW\ be worthy to preside over 
the Onler, and to re-e8tab\iah it as formerly. 

Given at our imperial residence of St Petersburg, on the I6th 
of March 1801^ in the first year of our reign. 

(Signed) Al£xa»i>br. 
The Grand Chancellor Count db Fablus. 

No. 22. 

Decree op the Sacred Council op the Sovereign 
Order op St. John op Jerusalem, in accordance 
with the preceding Proclamation. 

In order to contribute as soon as possible to the restoration of 
a Grand-Master, and the primitive constitution to the Order of 
St John of Jerusalem, the sovereign council of the said Order, 
in the meeting of the 22nd of June 1801, has inquired into 
the form of convocation for a general chapter, and finds that 
the statutes are as follows on that subject: — 

'^ A General Chapter must consist of the Grand-Master, the 
Bishop of Malta, the Prior of the Church, the Conventual 
Bailiffs or Pillars of the Languages, the Grand-Priors or 
Capitular Bailiifs who have a decisive vote, a Solicitor for the 
Knights of each Language, and a Solicitor for the Com- 
manders of each Priory." 

The sovereign council, in consideration that all the elements 
of a general chapter are dispersed, and knowing that, in the 
present situation of things, it would be impossible to assemble 
them, according to the form expressed in the statutes, has 
resolved to adopt a mode of election which shall differ as little 
as possible from the ancient one, prevent dehiy, spare the 
priories all unnecessary expense and inconvenience, and imme- 
diately fix upon a chief for the sovereign Order to govern it, 
and take possession of the island of Malta, whenever circum- 
stances shall make it possible to do so. 

K K 4 


For this purpose^ the sovereign cotincil enjoiM ali*! 
Grand -Priors immediately to convene their chapters, su>| 
carry before them the following propoeitions : — 

Ist The provincial chapter shall mark out, aimx^il 
professed Knights of every language^ those whom thej a^l 
most capable of filling the dignity of Grand-Master witL isl 
courage and firmness. The Grand -Priors shall acquaint ^ 
povereign council as soon as possible with this opinion, tk. I 
list may be formed from all the different priories of those it| 
are candidates for the Grand- Mastership. 

2nd. The council proposes to send this list to the coon:] 
Kome, and his holiness, as supreme chief of the Kooil 
Church, and as superior of all religious Orders, shall be »| 
treated to select a Grand- Master from among the candid. 
Fpecifying at the same time, that Uiis is only to be thecisei' 
this one occasion, and without derogating in any degree &» 
the rights and privileges of the sovereign Order. 

His holiness shall also be requested to notify this election tt 
all Catholic countries by a pontifical brief, commanding tk 
Knights to obey the Grand-Master thus chosen^ according te 
the statutes of holy obedience. 

All the sovereign chapters shall be summoned by their Gnai- 
Priors to declare their opinions formally and with precision, a 
the question of referring to the Pope to elect a Grand-Masta 
from the number of professed Knights pointed out by tb 
different priories. 

By these means the Order will be assured of having a Grand- 
Master of its own choice, and from among its own members; 
and the sovereign council may proceed with confidence^ accordincr 
to the wishes and opinions of all the capitular chapters. More- 
over, the sovereign council represents to all the Grand-Priors, 
that it is more important than ever to employ all their authority 
and prudence to prevent every kind of division and intrigue, to 
choose a candidate truly worthy of the sovereign command, 
endowed with the necessary qualities to make the Order of 
general utility, and to restore a severe discipline. 

Lastly, the sovereign council has in its wisdom judged that 
this was the only method to conciliate the members in general. 

APrENDix, 505 

to avoid all pretences for schisms, antl to unite all the scattered 
members of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Given at St. Petersburg, the 20th day of July 1801. 

No. 23. 
Terms op the Capitulation under which the French 


Article I. — The garrison of Malta, and the forts dependent 
thereon, shall march out to be embarked for Marseilles, on the 
day and hour appointed, with all the honours of war, such as 
drums beating, colours flying, matches lighted, having at their 
head two four-pounders with their carriages, artillerymen to 
serve th«m, and a waggon for the infantry. The civil and mili- 
tary officers of the navy, together with everything belonging 
to that department, shall equally be conducted to the port of 

Answer. — fhe garrison shall receive the above requested 
honours of war, but subject to the following arrangement, in 
case it be found impossible to embark the whole of the troops 
immediately. As soon as the capitulation shall be signed, the 
two forts of Ricasoli and Tignc shall be delivered up to the 
troops of His Britannic Majesty, and the vessels allowed to 
enter the port. The national gate shall have a guard composed 
of an equal number of French and English till the transports 
shall be ready to take on board the first embarkation of troops ; 
when the whole of the garrison shall file off with all the honours 
of war as far as the sea-shore, where they shall ground their 
arms. Those who cannot embark in the first transports shall 
remain in the isle and fort Manuel, with an armed guard, to 
prevent any one going into the interior of the island. The 
garrison shall be regarded as prisoners of war, and cannot serve 
against His Britannic Majesty till the exchange shall have 
taken place, and the respective oflScers shall give their parole to 


this purpose. All the artillery, ammunition, and public stores 
of every description shall be delivered up to officers appointed 
for that purpose, together with inventories and public papers. 

Article IL — The general of brigade, Chanez, commandant 
of the city and forts; the general of brigade, d'Hannedel, com- 
mandant of the artillery and engineers ; the officers, non- 
commissioned officers, and soldiers ; the officers, troops, crews, 
and all others employed in the navy ; citizen Pierre Alphonse 
Guys, general commissary of trade for the French republic in 
Syria and Palestine; those employed in civil and militarj 
capacities; the commissioners of the army and navy, the civil 
administrators, and number of whatsoever description of the 
constituent authority, shall take with them their arms, their 
personals, and all their property. 

Answer. — Granted ; excepting the soldiers grounding their 
arms, as mentioned in the first article. The non-commissioDed 
officers shall keep their sabres. 

Article III. — All those who bore arms in the service of 
the republic during the siege, of whatsoever nation they may 
happen to be, shall be regarded as making part of the garrison. 

Answer, — Granted. 

Article IV. — The division shall be embarked at the ex- 
pense of His Britannic Majesty, each person receiving during 
his passage the pay of his rank, according to the Fren<£ 
regulation. The officers and members of the civil administra- 
tion, with their families, shall also receive a salary in proportion 
to the pay of the military, and according to the dignity of their 

Answer. — Granted; conformably to the custom of the 
British navy, which grants the same pay to e?ery individual of 
whatsoever degree and condition. 

Article V. — A proper number of waggons and shallops 
shall be provided for transporting and shipping the persontds 
belonging to the generals, their aides-de-camp, commissaries, 
chiefs of different corps, officers, citizen Guys, civil and military 
administrators of the army and navy ; together with the papers 
belonging to the councils of the civil and military administra- 
tors of the army and navy; also those of the councils of 


the adminUtrators of the different corps, the oommissftries of 
both army and navy, the paymaster of the division, and all 
others employed in the civil and military administration. 
These effects and papers to be subject to no kind of inspection, 
being guaranteed by the generals as containing neither public 
nor private property. 

Answer. — Granted. 

Abticlb YI. — All vessels belonging to the republic in 
sailing condition shall depart at the same time as the division 
for a French port, after being properly victualled for the 

Ansioer, — Refused. 

Article VII. — The sick, capable of being removed, shall 
be embarked with the division, and be provided with medicines, 
surgical instruments, provisions, and necessary attendants to 
take care of them during the passage; those whose state of 
health obliges them to remain in Malta, shall be properly 
treated, and the commander-in-chief shall leave a French 
physician and surgeon to attend them. When they shall be 
able to leave the hospital, they shall be provided with a lodging 
gratis, until they are sufficiently recovered to return to France, 
whither they shall be sent, with all their property, equally with 
the garrison. The commander-in-chief, on evacuating Malta, 
will entrust them to the honour and humanity of the English 

Answer. — Granted. 

Article YIII. — All individuals, of whatsoever nation, in- 
habitants or not of Malta, shall not be molested for their 
political opinions, nor for any acts committed whilst Malta was 
in the power of the French government. This arrangement to 
be principally applied in its fullest extent to those who have 
taken up arms, or to those who have held any civil, administra- 
tive, or military employments. These are not to be accountable 
for anything which has passed, particularly not to be proceeded 
against for what happened during their administration. 

Answer. — This article does not appear to come under the 
terms of a military capitulation ; but all the inhabitants who 
wish to remain^ or who are permitted to remain, may depend 


508 APrENDix. 

upon being treated with justice and humanity, and on enjojing 
the entire protection of the law. 

Article IX. — All the French inhabiting Malta, and those 
of the Maltese who are desirous of following the French army, 
and retiring to France with their property, shall have tibe 
liberty to do so. Those who possess moveables, and estates 
impossible to be disposed of immediately, and who intend set- 
tling in France, shall be allowed six months from the signature 
of the present capitulation for the sale of their estates and other 
effects. This property shall be respected; those who rem^ 
for the time being, shall be allowed to act for themselves, or, if 
they follow the French division, by their attorney ; and on the 
termination of their affairs, they shall be furnished with passports 
for France, and the remainder of their effects sent on board, 
together with their capita], either in money or in letters of 
exchange, as shall best suit their convenience. 

Answer. — Granted^ with reference to the answer given to the 
preceding article. 

Article X. — As soon as the capitulation shall be signed 
the English general shall permit the commander-in-chief of the 
French forces to despatch a felucca, properly manned, with an 
oflScer, to carry the capitulation to the French government, who 
shall be provided with the necessary safeguard. 

Answer.-^ Granted. 

Article XI. — The articles of capitulation being signed, the 
gate, called " Des Bombes,** shall be given up to the English 
general ; and occupied by a guard consisting of an equal number 
of French and English, with orders to permit neither the 
soldiers of the besieging army, nor any inhabitant of the island 
whatsoever, to enter the city until the French troops shall be 
embarked and out of sight of the port. As soon as the embar- 
kation shall have taken place, the English troops shall occupy 
the gates, and free entrance be allowed into the city. The 
English general must perceive that this precaution is absolutely 
necessary to prevent all disputes, and in order that the articles 
of the capitulation may be religiously observed. 

-4w5ii7^r.— Granted, conformably to what has been already 
rovided against by the answer to the first article ; and all pre- 


caution shall be taken to prevent the armed Maltese from < 
approaching the gates occupied by the French troops. 

Article XII. — All alienation of property, and sale of 
estates and effects by the French government, whilst it was in 
possession of Malta, together with all exchange of property 
between individuals, shall be maintained inviolable. 

Answer, — Granted, as far as justice and law will permit. 

Article XIII. — The agents of the allies' powers residing in 
the city of Valetta at the time of its surrender, shall not be mo- 
lested, and their persons and property shall be guaranteed by 
the present capitulation. 

Answer, — Granted. 

Article XIV. — All ships of war and merchant vessels 
coming from France with the colours of the republic, and ap- 
pearing before the port, shall not be esteemed prizes, nor the 
crews made prisoners, during the first twenty days after the 
date of the present capitulation, but shall be sent back to France 
with a proper safeguard. 

Answer. — Kcfused. 

Article XV. — The commander-in-chief, the other generals, 
their aides-de-camp, the subaltern officers, shall be embarked 
altogether, with the commissioners and their suites. 

Answer, — Granted. 

Article XVI. — The prisoners made during the siege, in- 
cluding the crew of the " Guillaume Tell" and **LaDiane," shallbe 
restored and treated like the garrison. The crew of "La Justice ** 
to be used in the same manner, should she be taken in returning 
to one of the ports of the republic. 

Answer. — The crew of the " Guillaume Tell " is already ex- 
changed, and that of ** La Diane" is to be sent to Majorca, to be 
exchanged immediately. 

Article XVII. — No one in the service of the republic 
shall be subject to a reprisal of any kind whatsoever. 

Answer, — Granted. 

Article XVIIL — If any difficulties shall arise respecting 
the terms and conditions of the capitulation, they shall be in- 
terpreted in the most favourable sense for the garrison. 

Answer, — Granted according to justice. 

5 1 APP£KDIX. 

Done and concluded at Malta, the 18th of Fructidory in tk 
eighth year of the French republic. 

Signed on behalf of the French^ by the General of IKtmos 
Yauboisy and the Bear- Admiral YilleneuTe. 

On behalf of the English, by Major-General Pigott snd 
Captain Martin^ commodore of the allied fleet before MaltiL 

No. 24. 

Article in the Treaty op Amiens beljltive to the 

Order of St. John* 

The islands of Malta, Gozo, and Cumino, shall be reBtared to 
the Order of Su John of Jerusalem, to be held on the same 
conditions on which it possessed them before the "war, and under 
the following stipulations: — 

Ist. The Knights of the Order whose languages shall ocm- 
tinue to subsist, after the exchange of the ratification of the 
present treaty, are invited to return to Malta as soon as the 
exchange shall have taken place. They will there form a 
general chapter, and proceed to the election of a Grand-Master, 
chosen from among the natives of the nations which preserve 
their language, unless that election has been already made since 
the exchange of the preliminaries. It is understood that an 
election made subsequent to that epoch shall alone be considered 
valid, to the exclusion of any other that may have taken place 
at any period prior to that epoch. 

2nd. The government of the French republic and of Great 
Britain, desiring to place the Order and the island of Malta in 
a state of entire independence with respect to them, agree that 
there shall not be in future either a French or an English 
language, and that no individual belonging to either the one 
or the other of these powers shall be admitted into the Order. 

3rd. There shall be established a Maltese language, which 
shall be supported by territorial revenues and commercial duties 
of the island. This language shall have its peculiar dignities* 


an establlahineQtj and an hotel. Proofs of nobility shall not be 
necessary for the admission of Knights of this language, and 
they shall be moreover admissible to all offices, and shall enjoy 
all privileges in the same manner as the Knights of the other 
languages. At least half of the municipal, administrative, 
civil, judicial, and other employments depending on the govern- 
ment shall be filled by inhabitants of the island of Malta, Gozo, 
and Cumino. 

4th. The forces of His Britannic Majesty shall evacuate the 
island and its dependencies within three months from the ex- 
change of the ratifications, or sooner if possible. At that epoch 
It shall be given up to the Order In its present state, provided 
the Grand-Master or commissaries fully authorised acx^ording to 
the statutes of the Order, shall be in the island to take possession, 
and that the force which has been provided by His Sicilian 
Majesty, as is hereafter stipulated, shall have arrived there. 

5th. One half of the garrison at least shall be always com* 
posed of native Maltese, for the remainder the Order may levy 
recruits in those countries only which continue to possess lan- 
guages. The Maltese troops shall have Maltese officers. The 
command-in>chief of the garrison, as well as the nomination of 
officers, shall pertain to the Grand- Master, and this right he 
cannot resign, even temporarily, except in favour of a Knight, 
and In concurrence with the advice of the council of the 

6th. The independence of the islands of Malta, Gozo, and 
Cumino, as well as the present arrangement, shall be placed 
under the protection and guarantee of France, Great Britain, 
Austria, Spain, Russia, and Prussia. 

7 th. The neutrality of the Order, and of the island of Malta 
with its dependencies. Is proclaimed. 

8th. The ports of Malta shall be open to the commerce and 
navigation of all nations, who shall there pay equal and mode- 
rate duties ; these duties shall be applied to the cultivation of 
the Maltese language, as specified In paragraph 3, to that 
of the civil and military establishments of the island, as well as 
to that of a general lazaretto, open to all colours. 

9 th. The states of Barbary are excepted from the conditions 



of the preceding paragraphs^ until^ bj means of an arrangeoeTt 
to be procured by the contracting partiea, the system of hosdliti^ 
which subsists between the states of Barbary and the Order a' 
St. John, or the powers possessing the languages or concunii!s 
in the composition of the Order, shall have ceased. 

10th. The Order shall be governed, both with respect ;• 
spirituals and temporals, by the same statutes which wereii 
force when the Knights left the island, except so far as tk 
present treaty shall derogate from them. 

11th. The regulations contained in the paragraphs 3, 5,',^^ 
and 10, shall be converted into laws and perpetual statutes (I 
the Order, in the customary manner, and the Grand-Mast€r,cr 
if he shall not be in the island at the time of its restoration to 
the Onler, his representative, as well as his successors, shall be 
bound to take an oath for their punctual observance. 

12th. His Sicilian Majesty shall be invited to fanii^ 
2000 men, natives of his states, to serve as a garrison to tie 
different fortresses of the said islands. That force shall rtnak 
one year, to bear date from their restitution to the Knights, and 
if, at the expiration of this term, the Order should not have raised 
a force sufficient, in the judgment of the guaranteeing powen, 
to garrison the island and its dependencies, such as is specified 
in the paragraph, the Neapolitan troops shall continue tb^ 
until they shall be replaced by a force deemed sufficient by the 
said powers. 

13th. The different powers designated in paragraph 6, viz., 
France, Great Britain, Austria, Kussia, Spain, and Prussii, 
shall be invited to accede to the present stipulations. 



Abda Racman, ii. 62. 

Abdi Agu, ii. 410. 

Abou Said Jacxnao, L 315. 

Achmet, grand Tiaier, iu 365. 

Achmet Pasha, L 388, 390, 464 ; ii. 3, 

11, 16. 
Acre,!. 112, 121, 135, 143, 151, 159; 

il 459. 
Adrian, Emperor, i. 20. 
Adrian VI., Pope, i. 432; iL 8, 29. 
Ajaccio, Gulf of, L 416. 
Alan, ii. 281. 
Alcade, Fort, iL 41. 
Alexander I. of Russia, ii. 462, 502. 
Alexander II. of Scotland, ii. 311. 
Alexander III., Pope, 501. 
Alexander III. of Scotland, ii. 311. 
Alexander IV., Pope, i. 29 note, 498. 
Alexander VI., Pope, L 403 et seq., 413. 
Alexandria, i. 233. 
Alen^on, Duchess of, ii. 13. 
Algiers, ii. 35, 44. 
Alice, L 60. 

Alliata, Geronimo, iL 286. 
Aimeric I. king of Jerusalem, L 80 

et seq. 
Aimeric of Cyprus, L 1 15, 118. 
Alnaxar Aldidier, L 314. 
AIneto, Hugh de, iL 281. 
Alphonso of Portugal, L 116, 130. 
Alphonso I. king of Aragon, L 62. 
Al Raschid, iL 37. 
Altieri, Giovanni Battista, iL 286. 
Amadeus V. of Savoy, L 208. 
Amalii, i. 12. 
Aroaral, Andrew d',L 417, 422,43 1,435, 

461, 462. 
Amboise, Aimeric, L 414 et seq., 417. 
Amiens, iL 510. 
Amurath, Prinee, ii. 6. 

VOL, n. L 

Anastasius IV., Pope, L 76. 

Andrew, king of Hungary, L 121. 

Ancona, i. 304. 

Angelo, Castle of St., iL 16. 

Angelo, Fort of St., iL 23, 26, 46,70, 387. 

Agnes, L 15. 

Aniaby, John de, ii. 292. 

Anne of England, iL 404. 

Antioch, L 10, 15, 54, 154. 

Anulai, Sir Henry, ii. 320. 

Apulia, Roger duke of, L 61. 

Aquila, Baillis of, iL 292. Titular 

Baillis of, iL 295. 
Aquitaine, William duke of, L 61. 
Aramont, D*. ii. 47. 
Archer, John 1', ii. 297. 
Archer, Thomas 1', iL 282. 
Archibald, iL 301, 314. 
Arcon, Don Fernando del, iL 305. 
Argiutine, Sir Giles de, iL 316. 
Arpigon, Count d', ii. 349. 
Artois, Count of, i. 146 et seq. 
Aseali, Gilbert d*, L 53, 82 et seq. 
Ascalon, L 70. 
Asfely, Sir George, iL 322. 
Assassins, tribe of, L 90, 151, 155. 
Assheton, Edmond, ii. 298. 
Aubigny, Robert Stuart d\ ii. 303. 
Aubusson, Peterd',L 320,329, 330 etseq., 

412, 506. 
Austin, iL 8. 
Aaotus, i. 1 54 . 


Bahington, John, ii. 290, 294, 299, 323. 
Baiat, Gulf of, iL 10. 
Bajazet I., L 292 et seq. 
Bigazet II., L 388 et seq., 41 4« 
Balak, L 55, 



Balben, Auger de, L 80. 

Baldwin T., i. 24. 

Baldwin II., i. 24, 60. 

Baldwin III., i. 64 et seq., 80. 

Baldwin IV., i. 93. 

Baldwin of Flanders, i. 118. 

Balestin, Leonard, i. 436. 

Bandinelli, Ottavio, ii. 295. 

Barbacan, i. 137. 

Barbarossa, Hayradin, ii 36, 45. 

Barbaro««ia, Horuc, iL .35. 

Baron, Sir John, ii. 322. 

Bartolini, Girolamo, i. 444. 

Bassa, Captain, ii. 351. 

Batasbi, Sir Henry, iL 320. 

Bayntun, Sir Henry, ii. 314. 

Beaufort, Duke of, ii. 366. 

Beaujeu, William de, L 163 et seq. 

Belbeis, i. 83. 

Belisarius, iL 19. 

Bell, Sir James, iL 327. 

Bell, Sir Richard, iL 327. 

Bcllingham, Sir Edward, iL 326. 

Bern, Sir Thomas, ii. 32a 

Bendocdar, i, 148 et seq., 156. 

Beranger, Raymond, i. 233 et seq. 

Beranger, Raymond de, i. 230. 

Beretta. General, ii. 490. 

Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux, i. 67. 

Bernois-Villeneuve, Jean de, iL 295. 

Besoel, Sir John, iL 321. 

Bichi, the Prior de, iL 360. 

Bidou, Prejan de, i. 439. 

Blanchefort, Guy de, i. 417 et seq. 

Blondel, Chev., ii. 492. 

Bocard, Simon, ii. 282. 

Bohemond, i. 15, 60. 

Bonaparte, ii. 441 et seq. 

Boniface VIII., Pope, L 29 note, 492. 

Bonnac, Monsieur de, iL 411. 

Bootle, Robert, ii. 284. 

Borard, Sir Gilbert de, iL SIO. 

Bosio, ii. 184. 

Bosio, Anthony,!. 428 ; iL 12, 15,17, 24. 

Bosio, Thomas, ii. 29. 

Bosvile, John, ii. 289. 

Botigella, Aurelio, iL 41, 326. 

Bouch, John, L 430,435, 457; iL 290,321. 

Bouillon, Godfrey de, i. 16, 24, 487. 

Bourbon, Chevalier de, i. 463. 

Bourbon, Constable, iL 16. 

Bourcicault, Marshal de, L 311. 

Bourg, iL 23, 55, 115, 130-143. 

Bouteler, Thomas T, iL 297. 

Boutil, Robert, iL 284. 

Bovio, Giulio, ii. 286. 

Bowes, Sir Marmaduke, iL 327. 

Boydel, Roger, iL 290. 

Bra^monte, Don Diego, iL S96u 
Braibroe, John de, ii. 287, 316 
Brenne, Edward de, iL 301. 
Brienne, John of, L 118, 121 et ie|. 
Brilhane, Bailiirde U, iL 432. 
Briset, Jordan, L 23. 
Briasett, Lord Jordan, iL 277, SOSl 
Brochero, Don Diego, iL SOa 
Brogliok De, iL 72, 89, 94. 
Brown, the Hon. Sir Rieiiard, n. 8S7. 
Broussa, L S90. 
Bruce. Robert the, iL 311. 
Brundusium, L 181. 
Bucht, Sir John, iL 321. 
Buck, John, iL 290, 321. 
Bucklands, i. 28 note. 111; iL 281. 
Buet, Sir Francis, ii. 322. 
Builbruz, John, ii. 280, 316. 
Ruilbrulx, Sir John, L 219. 
Buisbroz, John de, iL 287, 316. 
Burgo, William de, iL 3ia 
Burgundy, Philip duke oC i. 335. 
Burle, Thomas de, ii. 297. 
Bumes, the Chev. Sir James, iL 337. 
Busca, Antoine, ii. 463. 
Bussi, Antonio I>omenico, iL 296. 
Bynnynge, John de, iL 302. 


Cagliares, bishop of Malta, iL 341. 

Cairo, L 84, 147. 

Calabria, iL 426. 

Calais, iL 15. 

Calamos, L 188, 206. 

Calderon, Don Michaele, iL SOa 

Camel, sultan of Egypt, L 1 25. 

Candelissa, u. 123 et seq. 

Candia, iL 2, 363 367, 

Candida d', ii. 464. 

Canalis, L 414. 

Caoursin, William, i. 383. 

Caramandra, Boniface of, L 247. 

Caramolin, iL 484. 

Cardona, Don Juan de, iL 1 1 6. 

Cardonne, i. 330. 

Caraffa, Gregory, ii. 387-393. 

Carracciolo, Richard, L 246. 

Carretto, Fabricius, L 419 et 

Cassan, Jerome, ii. 160, 487. 

Cassiere, John TEv^ue de la, iL 172 

et seq., 178. 
Ca&tel NuoTO, ii. 389. 
Castellan, Guyot de', L 4.36. 
Castriot, De, iL 94. 
Cavalcado, Marquis de^ iL 423. 
Carette, L 353. 



^^ Catania, ii. 463. 

^i Contends, Andr^ di Giovanni, ii. 463. 

Ml C«rda, Chev. de la, ii. 72, 80, 89. 

\L Cesarea, i. 59, 153. 

h Champagne, Count ot, i. 136. 

,i Charles II. of England, ii. 274. 

I Charles II. of Sicily, i. J 81. 

I Charles V. of Germany, ii. 1 1 , 35, 38, 469. 

, Charles VIII. of France, i. 399, 404. 

Charlotte of Savoy, i. 322. 

ChAteau Roux, 357. 

Chauncey, Joseph de, iL 282. 

Chateauneuf, William de, i. 143 et seq. 

Chester, Earl of, ii. 31 1. 

Ciiya, Angelo della, ii. 300. 

Cilly, Herman de, i. 297. 

Citta Notabile, ii. 22, 27. 

CittiL Vittoriosa, ii. 147, 156. 

Clare, Richard de, ii. 279, 31a 

Clement, Archbishop, i. 436. 

Clement, St. iL 169. 

Clement IV., Pope, i. 152. 

Clement V., Pope, 180, 190 et seq. 

Clement VII., Pope, i. 246 ; ii. 10. 

Clerkenwell, L 23, 273, 278, 282 ; iL 16, 

Clermont, Annet de, iL 361. 

Clugny, Bailiff de, iL 464. 

Cluys, Peter de, L 435. 

CoUoredo, Count, ii. 464. 

Colonna, Don Prosper, ii. 300. 

Comares, Marquis de, iL 36. 

Comnenus, Manuel, L 68. 

Comps, Arnaud de, L 81. 

Comps, Bertrand de, L 130, 135, 137* 

Conrad III. of Germany, L 67. 

Constantine, i. 20. 

Constantino Porphyrogenitus, i. 412. 

ConsUntinople, L 118, 293, 319. 

Contarini, Dominico, iL 365. 

Coppier, Marshal, iL 76. 

Coradinus, L 126. 

Cordova, Don Martin de, iir 65. 

Corinth, L 244, 299. 

Coma, Delia, iL 144. 

Corniellan, Peter de, L 232. 

Cornillan, Peter de, i. 230. 

Cornwall, Uichard o^ i. 135. 

Coron, iL 388. 

Correa, iL 388. 

Cort, Robert, ii. 292. 

Cos. i. 188, 205. 

Cottoner, Nicholas, iL 361 et seq., 
383, 489. 

Cottoner, Raphael, ii. 361. 

Cottonera, ii. 490 — 492. 

Cour9on, Robert de, L 121. 

Courtenay, Jocelyn de, L 55, 63. 

Cressini, Antonio, ii. 305. 
Crownal, Henry, iL 293. 
Culter, Robert de, iL 316. 
Cumino, ii. 510. 
Curtoglu, L 423, 425, 438, 458. 
Cyprus, L 114, 147, 169, 322. 


Dalton, John de, iL 283. 

Damascus, L 10, 68. 

Damietta,L 122 etseq., 147. 

D'Andelard, iL 447. 

Danet, Hugh de, iL 281. 

Daniel, Robert, iL 289. 

Daps, Ermengard, L 103, 112. 

Darell, William, ii. 289. 

Daunay, William, iL 288. 

David, L 1 8. 

David I. of Scotland, ii. 278, 309. 

Delamere, Sir Thomas, ii. 319. 

Deici, Inquisitor, iL 403. 

Desaix, iL 447. 

Desmoulins, Roger, i. 94, 96. 

Despuig, Raymond, ii. 413. 

Diaz, Blaise, L 461. 

Dinant, Ralph de, iL 281. 

Dinant, Robert de, iL 281. 

Dingley, Joj^n de, iL 292. 

Docray, Thomas, L 422. 

Docwra, Thomas, iL 284, 289, 299, 32a 

Doria, Andrew, iL 38, 44. 

D'Ormy, ii. 447. 

Dragon of Rhodes, i. 223. 

Dragut, iL 45, 64, 77, 82, 103, 1 1 1. 

Dudley, Sir George, iL 330. 

Duisson, Godfrey of, L 113, 116. 

Du Mesnil, L 92. 

Dundas, George, iL 303, 321. 

Dupont, Peter, ii. 34, 41 , 484. 

Dupr^. Cardinal, L 189. 

Dymock, the Hon. Sir Henry, ii. 337. 

Dynham, Ralph de, iL 281. 

Dynham, Robert de, iL 281. * 


Eagle, Baillis of the, iL 292. 
Edessa, L 15, 55, 63. 
Edward of England, Prince, i. 155. 
Edward II. of England, L 194. 
Eguaras, De, iL 72, 80, 89, 102, 108, 


Eleanor, Princess, i. 155 note. 
Elizabeth of p:ngland, iL 59, 331. 
Elmo, Fort St., iL 56, 78—112, 156, 
387, 422. 

L L 3 



Emer, Sir George, il 322. 
Emmanuel, de, ii. 424 — 436. 
England, Grand Priors of, ii. 280. 

Titular Grand- Priors of, ii. 285. 
English Language, Turcopoliers ot, ii. 

287. Titular Turcopoliers of, ii. 

291. Benefactors within, it 309. 

Distinguished knights of, iL 322. 
Episcopia, i. 188, 223. 
Espinay-St. Luc, Fran9ois de 1*, it 29). 
Eugene III., Pope, i. 67. 
Eure, Robert, ii. 299. 


Famagosta, L 311. 

Farfan, Sir Nicholas, iL 322. 

Ferdinand L of Naples, i. 381. 

Ferrara, ii. 463. 

Ferrers, William de Ferrers, Earl of, 

ii. 311. 
Ferretti, Cesare, ii. 285. 
Ferretti, Francesco Maria, ii. 286. 
Filelfo, i. 359. 
Fiorensola, Father, ii. 488. 
Fitz- Gerald, Sir Morice, ii. 311. 
Fitz- Gerald, Thomas, ii. 298. 
Fitz-James, Buonaventura, ii. 286. 
Fitz- James, Henry, ii. 285t 
Fitz-James, Peter, ii. 286. 
Fitz- Richard, Robert, ii. 313. 
Fitz-Thomas, William, ii. 297. 
FitZ'William, Maurice, ii. 297. 
Flackslander, Johann Baptist von, iL 

292, 296. 
Florentin, Nosso de, i. 1 92. 
Florian, Squire de, L 192. 
Floriana, ii. 357, 380, 488. 
Floriani, Colonel, ii. 486. 
Fluvian, Antoine, 314 et seq. 
Fontanus, i. 463. 
Forrest, Sir Adrian, ii. 327. 
Fortescue, Sir Adrian, ii. 327. 
Fossan, Anthony, iL 184. 
Frapant, George, i. 341 et seq., 367. 
Frederic II. of Germany, L 125 et seq. 

Fulburn, Stephen, iL 283. 
Fulk, Count of Anjou, i. 60. 
Fulke, Vicar of Neuilly, i. 108. 


Gara, the Elector Palatine, i. 297. 
Garces, Martin, ii. 1 85. 
Garcia, Don, ii. 486. 

Gamier^ Euatace, i. 5€» 

Oastioeau, L 41$. 

Gastua. i. 87. 

Gaultier, Antbonj, i. 369. 

Gayan, kin^ of Peraia, L 177. 

Gaaa, L 71, 143. 

Gaselles, i. 421 . 

Genoa, Hu^b of, L 133. 

Gerard, Peter, i. 14^ 15, 16,22,34 

iL 188. 
Gerard of Sidcm, i. 72. 
Gerland of Poland, L 153. 
Gervaae, Roger, i. 361. 
GiUes, Didier de Sc, iL 41. 
Giraldin, Nicolo, ii. S86. 
Glafden, Ix>rd Osbert de, xL 3ia 
Goletta, Fort oC ii. 37. 
Got, Bertrand de (Clement V.), I 1^ 
Goxo, u. lO, 17, 47, 5ia 
Goxon, Deodato de, L 224, 227 et se|^ 

Grand, Archbishop de, L 298. 
Green, Thomas, iL 294. 
Gregory IX^ Pope^ L 504, 505. 
Gregory XI., Pope, L 242. 
Gregory XIll., Pope, iL 172, ISa 
Grendon, Walter de, iL 283. 
Grey, Brian de, iL 288, 293. 
Groll^e, De, iL 41. 
Groll^e, Anthony, L 471. 
Guedez-Pereira, Francesco de, iL 296. 
Guerin, i. 135. 
Gu^riviere, La, ii. 449. 
Guevara, Luardo, ii. 463. 
Guiran la Brillane, Henri Francis de, 

iL 296. 
Guy, Prior of Normandy, L 198. 


Haler, Sir Henry, iL 320. 

Hales, Robert de, ii. 283, 292, 317. 

Hali, ii. 409. 

Hassan, iL 122, 129, 145. 

Hassan, Muley, iL 37. 

Hayradin, iL 36 et seq. 

Heberstein, Count, ii. 389. 

Helena, Empress, L 8. 

Helens, Sir Alexander de St., iL 311. 

Henley, William de, ii. 232. 

Henry I. of England, ii. 278, S09. 

Henry II. of England, L 23, 95, 500; 

iL 310. 
Henry VII. of England, L 407 ; iL 31 1. 
Henry VIII. of England, iL 15, 27, 49, 

Henry II. of Cyprus, L 162 et seq. 




Heraclius of Jerusalem, u 94 ; ii. 277. 
Heredia, Juan, i. 229, 236 et seq., 249. 
Herod, i. 20. 
Hetting, James, i. 382. 
HiUiers, Baraguay d', ii. 447. 
Hockham, Peter de, ii. 282. 
Holte, Peter de, ii. 288, 297. 
Hompesch, Ferdinand Joseph Antoine 

Herman Louis de, ii. 437 — 460. 
Hormand, Le, ii. 458. 
Horuc, ii. 35 et seq. 
Hulles, William, iL 283, 302. 
Hunyad,i. 319, 321. 
Hussey, Nicholas, i. 430 ; iL 322. 


Ibrahim, Prince, i. 363. 
Inge, Hildebrand, ii. 288. 
Ingley, Commander, ii. 327. 
Innocent II., Pope, i. 56. 
Innocent III., Pope, i. 121. 
Innocent VJIL, Pope, i. 401. 
Innocent XII., Pope, ii. 394, 396. 
Ireland, Priors of, ii. 295. Titular 

Priors of, ii. 300. 
Irvine, James, ii. 303. 
Ismeria, i. 65* 


Jaffa, Count of, i. HI. 

James the Pretender, ii. 335. 

James of Cyprus, i. 322. 

James II. of England, ii. 390. 

James I. of Scotland, ii. 31 1. 

James II. of Scotland, ii. 311. 

James IIL of Scotland, iL 311. 

James IV. of Scotland, ii. 311. 

Janissaries, ii. 74. 

Jarroquins, L 69. 

Jerusalem, i. 8, 10, 15 et seq., 103, 135. 

Jesuits, iL 41 9. 

John the Almoner, chapel of St, L 12. 

John the Baptist, St., i. 411. Church 

of, at Malta, iL 178. Hand of, ii. 

206. 457. 
John III. of Cyprus, 322. 
John, Fort St., 335. 
John XXII., Pope, L 215 et seq., 218 

Joubert, i. 61, 87, 94. 
Julian, Mount St., iL 55. 
Julliac, Robert, i. 253 et seq. 
Junot, ii. 449. 
Justiniani, Pietro, ii. 170i 


Kaitbai, Sultan, L 391. 
Karac, i. 154. 
Kasim Beg, L 391. 
Keating, James, ii. 293, 320. 
Kendal, John, iL 284, 289, 320. 
Khaled, L 21. 
Khaled of Egypt, i. 162. 
Khodgia Afendy, L 377. 
Kilmainham, ii. 279. 
Knights- Templars, see Templars. 
Knolles, Patrick, iL 303. 
KnoUes, William, iL 302, 319. 
Korasmins, i. 139. 
Kzcremetz, ii. 398. 


Lacy, Sir Hugh de, iL 310. 

Lacy, Sir Walter de, iL 310. 

Lady of Liesse,Church of our, i. 66 note. 

Lamb, the Hon. Sir Charles Montolieu, 

ii. 337. 
Langford, William de, L 273. 
Langs, L 309, 322, 415, 439 ; iL 1. 
Langon, Chev. de, iL 401, 402. 
Langstrother, John, ii. 284, 293, 31 9. 
Langstrothcr, William, ii. 293. 
Laparelli, Girolamo, ii. 286. 
Laparet, ii. 486. 

Larcher, Thomas, L 221 note ; ii. 280,31 6 . 
Laris, L 76. 
Lascaris, iL 120. 
Lascaris Castellar, John Paul de, ii. 348 

—359, 394. 
Laodicea, i. 154. 

Lastic, John de, i. 315 et seq., 321. 
Launcelyn, Thomas, ii. 288. 
Lazarus, St., Order of, L 59. 
Leo XII., Pope, ii. 463. 
Leopold of Austria, i. 112. 
Leopold I. of Germany, iL 387. 
Lepanto, ii. 170. 
Leros,L 188,206,414. 
Lesbos, i. 327. 
Lessa, De, ii. 47. 
Levinge, Sir Walter^ ii. 314. 
Limisso, i. 169. 
Lindos, Castle of, L 213. 
L'Isle Adam, Villiers de, L 417, 422 et 

seq.; ii. 3et.seq., 14 note, 33, 468, 484. 
Litta, Count de, iL 435, 438. 
Livingston, Henry, ii. 302, 318. 
Lomellino, Stefano Maria, iL 286. 
Longsp6e, William, i. 147. 
Longsword, William, earl of Salisbury, 





Lonrue, NichoUa dc, U 156 et teq., 159. 

Louu VII. of Pnmee, i. 67. 

I^uis of Savoy, i. S3S. 

Ludoviti, Antonio MarU Booneom- 

pagni, iL SOI. 
Lumley. Mammduke, i. 383 ; iLS98,320. 
Lusignan, Guy de, i. 95 et acq., 119, 1 14. 
Lusignan, James de, L 311, 314. 
Lynray, Ranulph de, u. 301, 315. 
Lynduy, Walter, ii, 303, 32S. 


Mahomet, i. 10. 

Mahomet I., i. 319. 

Mahomet II., i. 319 et teq., 339 et teq., 

Mahomet IV., il 368. 
Minorca, ii. 44. 

Malcolm IV. of Scotland, il 878, 31 a 
Maldonat, ii. 167. 
Mallory, Robert, ii. 881, 308. 
Malta, Ii. 10, 17 et seq., 60, 66 et seq., 

154, 409, 414, 488, 441—^59, 465— 

468, 469, 484—518. 
Maneby, John de, ii. 898. 
Manoel de Vilhena, Don Antony, Ii. 

Mansell, Henry, i. 440 ; ii. 388. 
Mansour, sultan of Egypt, i. 161. 
Marcel lo, Laurence, ii. 358, 354. 
Mareau, Princess de, ii. 484. 
Marecbal, Pietro, ii. 305. 
Margat, i. 94, 110. U 9, 156. 
Margat, Robert de, i. 119. 
Marsa Sirocco, ii. 76, 96. 
Martm V., Pope, i. 318. 
Martinigo, Gabriel, i. 488, 449 et seq., 

Mar> ad Latinos, chapel of St., i. 18. 
Mary Magdalen, chapel of St., i. 18. 
Mary of England, ii. 59, 318, 479. 
Marsa Musceit, ii. 46, 56, 78, 1 14. 
Massingberd, Oswald, ii. 891, 300, 389. 
Massinberg, ii. 272. 
Massoura, L 147. 
Master George, i. 341 et seq. 
Matafas, Cape, ii. 44. 
Mauneby, Robert de, ii. 881. 
Mazarquiver, ii. 64. 
Mecati, Gerard, L 133. 
Medrano,Gonzalis de,ii.88et seq.,90,101. 
Mehedia, ii, 45, 46. 
Meldrura, William, ii. 302. 
Melcha Bay, iL 141. 
Melier, i. 89. 
Meligala, Antonio, L 341. 

Mendosa, Don Pedro Goonki^i 

291, soa 

MercMdith, Sir Joshua, iL 4M. 

Meaaina, iL 8. 

Michael, Fort Sc i. 335; at lUa^i. 

56^ 115 — 14a 
Michael, Point St., iL 29. 
Midleton, Hugh, iL 888, 8^, VL 
Midleton, William de, iL 387, S17. 
Milicent, L 61. 
Mill J, Jamea de^ L 381 et seq. 
Mine^ William de, L 305. 
Miranda, Cher, de, iL 87, 90. lia 
Moeenigo, LAxaro, IL 35Q, 352,S3i 
Modon, iL S4. 

Molay, James de, L 180, 19(\ 196. 
Molystein, Sir John, iL 383. 
Mondlon, Chev. de, iL 406. 
Monilio, i. 4€6. 
Monsieur, Alexandre, iL 348. 
Monstaser Billah, CaUph, L IS. 
Montagu, Gu^rin de, L 188. 
Montalin, Anthony Quinsan de, il4^ 
Moutaset, iL 447. 
Montboiae, L 22. 
Monte, Peter del, iL 78, 182, 167 * 

•eq., 170, 486. 
Montcuil, Viscount de, L 339, 348. 
Montferrat, Conrad oi; L 107, 500. 
Montmorin, M, de, iL 433. 
Montpelier, L 219; iL 279. 
Montaelli, Sir Otho de, iL 388. 
More, William de la, iL 301, 316. 
Morea, L 899 ; iL 388. 
Morgut, George de, L 4S5. 
Morocco, ii. 35. 
Motte, La, iL 167. 
Muurad I., L 292 note. 
Mourad, II., L 319. 
Mustapha, iL 76 et seq. 
Mustapha, pasha of Rhodes, iL 414- 

Mustapha Pashti, L 438, 455, 458. 
Mustapha, Prince, L 388. 
Mytton, Sir Thomas, IL 327. 


Naillac, Philibert de, L 291 et seq., 313. 

Napoli, ii. 389. 

Napoli, Garnier de, i. 97, lOl. 

Napoli, Gasnier de, iL 280, 313, 

Narbrough, Sir John, iL 369. 

Nari, Giovanni Battista, iL 286. 

Navarino, ii. 389. 

Neapolis, Garnier de, iL 280^ 313. 

Nebuchadnessar, i. 19. 




Necker, li. 431 . 

Negropont, i. 330 ; ii. 392. 

Nelson, ii. 450, 466. 

Nevers, Count of, i. 292 et seq. 

Newport, ii. 9. 

Newport, Thomas, ii. 289, S94, 322. 

Nicea, i. 1 5. 

Nicholas, Fort St., i. 326, 334, 348, 386, 

435 ; ii. 12. 
Nicholas V., Pope, L 317. 
Nicopolis, L 293. 
Nuyrua, i. 188, 207. 
Noailles, Duke de, ii. 366. 
Noel, Sir John, ii. 327. 
Noureddin, i. 64 et seq., 65, 87. 
Nu9a, Pedro Felices de la, ii. 295, 333. 
Nussa, or Nyssa, Thcodoric de, it 281, 



O'Donnell, Sir Charles Routledge, iL 

Old Man of the Mountain, L 90 note, 

91, 151. 
Olibo, Hieronyma d*, iL 171. 
Omedes, John d', ii. 42 et seq., 57, 484. 
Onascon, William, i. 430; iL 321. 
Oran, ii. 64, 402. 
Orcan of Bithynia, L 222. 
Orsini, John, i. 328 et seq. 
Ortogul, L 303. 
Othman of Bithynia, L 207. 
Otranto, L 390. 
Ottoboni, Pietro, ii. 301. 
Ottoman, Father, ii. 364. 
Overtone, Richard de, iL 287. 


Pagnac, Maurice de, i. 212, 214 et seq. 

Paleologus Pasha, L 343 et seq. 

Paleologus, Theodore, i. 299. 

Pbrda, Don Pedro, ii. 485. 

Pascal IL, Pope, L 23, 49a 

Patras, L 243. 

Paul I. of Buasia, iL 438, 460—462, 

Paul IL, Pope, L 327. 
Paule, Anthony de, if. 345 — 347. 
Paule, Richard, iL 297, 
Paveley, John de, iL 283, 287. 
Payens, Hugh de, i. 57. 
Peat, Sir Robert, iL 337. 

Pelagius, L 1 23. 

Pembroke, William earl of, iL 310. 

Penley, Richard de, ii. 282. 

Perrelos, Raymond, ii. 395 — 407. 

Perrott, Edward G. L., iL 337. 

Perrucey, Robert, L 471. 

Peter, Castle of St., iL 2, 6. 

Peter the Great, ii. 397. 

Peter the Hermit, L 14. 

Petersburg, St., iL 460--462. 

Philerme, our Lady of, iL 205, 457. 

Philerme, Mount, L 347, USS. 

Philip Augustus, L 112, 118. 

Philip IL, iL 63, 153, 312, 479. 

Philip the Fair, i. 180, 190 et leq. ] 

Philippart, Sir John, iL 337. « 

Physco, L 344 et seq. 

Piali, iL 76, 88, 130. 

Piancourt, ii. 349. 

Pins, Gerard de, i. 215, 222. 

Pins, Odon de, L 174. 

Pins, Roger de, i. 233. 

Pinto, Francesco Carvalho, iL 301. 

Pinto de Fonseca, £manuel, iL 414— 

Pius IV., Pope, iL 153. 
Ploniton, Sir Thomas, iL 320. 
Poictiers, i. 180. 
Poincy, iL 357. 
Poitiers, Raymond of, L 61. 
Polastron, Chev., iL 137. 
Pole, Alban, iL 294, 322. 
Pole, Cardinal, iL 481. 
Pombal, Marqub of, iL 419. 
Pomeroys, Gabriel de, L 481, 435. 
Pompey, i. 1 9. 
Pontailler, Thallemey Miohel de, ii. 

Poole, William, iL 293. 
Previsa, ii. 388. 
Puy, Raymond du, L 24 et teq., 62^ 

78, 492 ; ii. 188. 
Pyrrhus Pasha, L 445, 458. 

•* Queen of the Seas," L 416. 
Quenyngton-Schenegaye, iL 282. 


Radyngton, Sir John de, ii. 318. 
Ransijat, Boisredont, ii. 445, 448. 
Ransom, Sir John, ii. 322. 



Rastadt» ii. 440. 
Rat, Jeffrey le, i. 128. 
Ravson, John, ii. 290, 299. 
Rawson, Juhn, jun., ii. 290, 294. 
Redin, Martin de, ii. 359—361. 
Rcdington, John dc, ii. 283, 293. 
Regnier, ii. 447. 
Reid, Sir William, ii. 437. 
Remberton, Sir Thomas, iL 322. 
Revel, Hugh de, i. 152 et seq., 156. 
Rhodes,!. 178 et seq., 221,315,333,387, 

434 et seq., 479, 506 ; ii. 1 et seq. 
Ricard, Raymond, i. 329. 
Ricardo, Roberto de, ii. 313. 
Ricasoli, Fort, ii. 380. 
Richard I. of England, i. 108, 112, 114; 

ii. 31 1. 
Richard, Chev., ii. 401. 
Riviere, De la, ii. 76. 
Robert the Hospitaller, ii. 313. 
Robert the Treasurer, ii. 281. 
Roberts, Sir Nicholas, i. 515. 
Robles, Chev. dc, ii. 1 16, 205. 
Roger the Norman, Count, ii. 20. 
Rohan, Bailiff de, ii. 423. 
Rohan, Prince Camille de, ii. 464. 
Rohan- Polduc, Francois - Marie des 

Neigcs Emmanuel de, ii. 424 — 436. 
Romegas, Maturin de I'Escut, ii. 73, 

175, 300. 
Rosel, Sir Giles, il i322. 
Roux, Sir Michael, ii. 322. 
Rovigo, Duke of, ii. 428. 
Rubert, Sir Nicholas, ii. 322. 
Ruffo, ii. 407. 
Ruspoli, Bailiff de, ii. 463. 
Russel, Gyles, ii. 291, 327. 


Sabilla, i. 95. 

Sacadeen, i. 148. 

Sacconai, Grand- Marshal, ii. 182. 

Sade-Mazan, Richard de, ii. 296. 

Saffradin, L 114. 

Saladin, i. 8 1 , 87, 93, 96 et. seq. ,113, 500. 

Saltza, Herman de, i. 124. 

Salviati, ii. 25. 

Sandilands, James, ii. 303. 

Sangle, Claude de la, ii.58 et seq., 61 ,485. 

Santa Maura, ii. 388. 

Sapienza, it 25. 

Sardines, Peter de, ii. 287. 

Savoy, James of, i. 232. 

Scandcrbeg, i. 319. 

Sceberras, Mount, ii. 23, 46, 56, 72, 78, 

156 ct seq., 486. 
Schenau, Bailiff de, ii. 443. 

Scotland, Priors of, li. dOI. 

Sebasta, i. SOS. 

Segreville, Fnui9ois Astorg de, iL 285, 

Selim I., i. 419. 
Selim IL, ii. 159. 
Sempronius, ii, 19. 
Senglea, ii. 60, 72, 115 — 140, 485. 
Sennacherib, i. 19. 
Servia, Krai of, L 298. 
Seton, David, ii. 303. 
Sheffield, Sir Thomas, ii. 322. 
Sheffield, Thomas, ii. 294. 
Shelley, Richard, iL 2SS, 291,309,331. 
Shishak, i. 18. 

Sidoux, Commodore, ii. 441. 
Sigismond, king of Hungary, L 292. 
Simeon, Patriarch, i. 14. 
Simeonis, i. 414; ii. 40. 
Sinan, iL 38. 
Singleton, Elias, ii. 282. 
Siracon, i. 85, 87. 
Sixena, iL 170. 
Sixenne, L 1 1 1 . 
Sixtus v., Pope, ii. 1 82. 
Skipwith, Thomas de, ii. 288. 
Skougall, Patrick, ii. 302, 318. 
Smelhton, Elias, iL 282. 
Smith, John, ii. 117. 
Smith, Sir Sidney, iL 459. 
Smyrna, L 285, 305. 
Sobieski, John, ii. 386, 388. 
Soliman Bey, i. 369. 
Soltikoff, Count, ii. 462, 502. 
Solyman II., i. 420, et seq. ; u. S; 4, 

66, 148, 155. 
Sonnac, L 148. 
Sophiano, Demetrius, L 339. 
Sparta, L 299. 

Sparvier-Corbonneau, Jacques de^ iL 295. 
Spinalonga, ii. 6. 
Stael, Robert von, iL 377. 
St. Ange, Marquis of, iL 488. 
Stamboli, Ala Antulla Oglt, iL 402. 
Stanley, Edward, ii. 117. 
Starkey, Oliver, iL 149, 295, 305, 333. 
Stewart, Henry Fitx-James, iL 390l 
St John the Almoner, ohapel o^ L IS. 
St Kitt*8, island of, il 357. 
St. Louis of France, L 146 et seq.» 154. 
St. Mary ad Latinos, chapel of, L 1 2. 
St Mary Magdalen, chapel of^ L 12. 
St Pierre, Chev. de, ii. 400l 
Stradling, Sir Henry, ii. 319. 
Strozzi, Leo, iL 42, 53, 56, 58. 
Sutton, John, iL 327. 
Symia, L 188, S06, 322. 
Syracuse, iL 17. 





Tabney, WiUiam de, ii. 297. 

Talbot, Thomas, ii. 298. 

Tame, PhUip de, ii. 283, 317. 

Tamerlane, i. 227, 301 et seq. 

Tancred, i. 17. 

Tanuci, Marquis, iL 419. 

Tarsus, i. 15. 

Tedbond, Sir Adam, il 320. 

TempUurs, i. 53, 57, 73. 83, 91, 107, 

119, 122, 137, 152, 173, 190-204. 
Teonge, Rev. Henry, il 373. 
Tessieres, De, ii. 63. 
Teutonic Order, L 112, 126, 164. 
Texis, Bertrand de, i. 129. 

Thame, Philip de. i. 221. 

Thomas of Armenia, i. 89. 

Thoro of Armenia, i. 89. 

Tiberias, i. 97. 

Tign6. Cher, de, ii. 406. 

Tign6, Fort, iL 83. 

Titus, i. 20. 

Toledo, Antonio de, ii. 167. 

Toledo, Don Garcia de. iL 63, 67, 88, 

Toledo, Frederic de, iL 67, 128. 

Tommasi, John de. ii. 463. 

Tong, Robert, ii. 289, 294. 

Tonkin, Miuor Sir Warwick Hill, ii. 

Torcillas, iL 57. 

Tordesillas, Don Emmanuel de, iL 296. 

Tornay, William, ii. 284, 293. 

Torphicben, ii. 278. Preceptors o^ iL 

Torring. Norbert von, iL 296. 

Tothdale, William de, iL 316. 

Tottenham, William de, iL 282. 

Toulouse, Raymond of, L 16. 

Tremincourt, ii. 368. 

Tresham, Thomas, ii. 285, 331. 

Tripoli, L 90; iL 17, 21, 34. 43, 47, 
63, 375. 

Tripoli. Raymond count of, L 96 et seq. 

Tuest, Sir William, iL 322. 

Tunis, ii. 35, 37. 

Turcopolier, i. 260. 

Turk, Richard de, ii. 281. 

Tybertis, Leonard de, L 221 ; ii. 280, 

Tyre. William of. i. 78. 


Ubaldesca of Carraja, i. 181. 
UcciaU. iL 169. 


Upton, Nicholas, iL 291, 327. 
Urban II., Pope, L 14. 
Urban VI., Pope, L 246. 
Urban VIII., Pope, iL 355. 
Usel, Sir Nicholas, iL 322. 


Valens, Emperor, L 59. 

Valerio, Bartuccio, iL 365. • 

Valetta,iL 160,257,468. 

Valette, John Parisot de la, iL 45, 58, 

61 etseq., 165,478, 485. 
Valette, Parisot de la, iL 137. 
Vallier. Gaspard la, iL 47, 63. 
Vallin, De, iL 447. 
Valperga, Count, ii. 490. 
Valperga, iL 379. 
Vaquelin, Sir John, ii. 320. 
Vasconcello8,Luis Mendex de, iL 295,344. 
Vatiens, i. 178. 
Vauban, Count, iL 494. 
Vaubois, ii. 447, 465, 466. 
Verdala. i. 132. 

Verdala, Hugh Loubenx de,ii.l80— 185. 
Vere, Robert de, iL 281, 310. 

Verneda, Count of. iL 491. 

Veronese. Sister. L 132. 

Verteua, Chev. de, iL 487. 

Vignacourt, Adrian de, iL 393—395. 

Vignacourt, Alof de.iL 219, 343. 

Vignier. De, ii. 418. 

Vilhena, Don Antony Manoel de, ii. 
409 — 413. 

Villanova, Elyon de, L 217 etseq.; ii. 

Villaragut, Baptiste, iL 326. 
Villaret, Fulke de, L 180 et seq.; 205 

et seq. 
Villaret, William de, L 29 note, 176 

et seq. ; iL 1 90. 
Villebride, Peter de, i. 137. 
Villiers, John de, L 159, 174. 
Villigagnon, iL 48. 
Violante. L 125. 
Visconti, ii. 177. 
Viselberg, Sir Walter, iL 321. 
Viterbo. ii. 11. 
Volkouski, Prince, ii. 462. 


Walter, iL 282. 
WeUlam, Roger, iL 296. 

M M 



, 11 



W 1 

WcUca, Aleunder d«, il 301. 814. 
Wot, Clement, ii. 890^ 891, SS3. 
Weft, WUluun, ii. 49. 
Weston, John, ii 884, 889, 319. 
Weston, WUliam. il 885. 890, 388, 

WLld-fiie, il 97. 
Willimm the lion, of SootUnd, il 878, 

Williams, Cher., iL 337. 
MTineesUs of Austria, iL 174. 
Wolsey, Cardinal, ii. 15. 
Wyse, Andrew, iL 985, 895. 

Ximenea, Fnn^oi^ iL 423i-i 


ibijiDond, L dS5. 
ZmmheocmiU AleisMidro, iL S6. 
Zengfai, sultan of Mosal, I SS. 
Zimm, Prinee, L 339^ 358 eta^. 
Zottra* ii. 56» 

Zooilodari. Mark Antony, iL 407- 
Zuniga, Alymrtm de, L 392. 









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